G protein-coupled receptors stimulation and the control of cell migration

Cell Signal. 2009 Jul;21(7):1045-53. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2009.02.008. Epub 2009 Feb 25.


Cell migration is a fundamental biological process involved in normal physiology. Altered motile phenotypes are however often associated with the development and progression of diseases such as cancer and atherosclerosis. Remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton is required for cell shape changes and is controlled by a broad variety of cellular proteins. Interestingly, several extracellular stimuli can promote actin reorganization and result in enhanced cell migration. Namely, G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which are activated by factors ranging from small amines, to hormones, and chemokines, initiate signalling cascades resulting in cell shape changes, formation of a migrating front (leading edge) and altered adhesion. GPCRs are heptahelical membrane proteins, which classically transmit signal via the activation of heterotrimeric G proteins. Sustained stimulation leads to the activation of G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) and the recruitment of arrestin proteins, which engage alternative signalling pathways. In this review, we will discuss the role of GPCR mediated signal transduction and review their importance in the regulation of actin remodeling leading to cell migration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement*
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinases / metabolism
  • Heterotrimeric GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • RGS Proteins / metabolism
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*


  • RGS Proteins
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinases
  • Heterotrimeric GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins