Drugs that act on dopamine neurotransmission are important tools for the management of multiple neuropsychiatric disorders. Classically, dopamine receptors have been shown to regulate cAMP-PKA (protein kinase A) and Ca(2+) pathways through G-protein-mediated signaling. However, it has become apparent that, in addition to this canonical action, D(2)-class dopamine receptors can function through a protein kinase B (Akt)-GSK-3 (glycogen synthase kinase 3) signaling cascade. This novel signaling mode involves the multifunctional scaffolding protein beta-arrestin 2, which has a role in G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) desensitization. In this article, we provide an overview of how this dual function of components of the GPCR desensitization machinery relates to dopamine-receptor-mediated responses and we summarize recent insights into the relevance of the Akt-GSK-3 signaling cascade for the expression of dopamine-associated behaviors and the actions of dopaminergic drugs.