Trafficking of delta-opioid receptors and other G-protein-coupled receptors: implications for pain and analgesia

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2007 Jan;28(1):23-31. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2006 Dec 5.


A cell can regulate how it interacts with its external environment by controlling the number of plasma membrane receptors that are accessible for ligand stimulation. G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest superfamily of cell surface receptors and have a significant role in physiological and pathological processes. Much research effort is now focused on understanding how GPCRs are delivered to the cell surface to enhance the number of 'bioavailable' receptors accessible for activation. Knowing how such processes are triggered or modified following induction of various pathological states will inevitably identify new therapeutic strategies for treating various diseases, including chronic pain. Here, we highlight recent advances in this field, and provide examples of the importance of such trafficking events in pain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia*
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pain / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Opioid, delta / metabolism*


  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Receptors, Opioid, delta