Spatial organization of transmembrane receptor signalling

EMBO J. 2010 Aug 18;29(16):2677-88. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2010.175.


The spatial organization of transmembrane receptors is a critical step in signal transduction and receptor trafficking in cells. Transmembrane receptors engage in lateral homotypic and heterotypic cis-interactions as well as intercellular trans-interactions that result in the formation of signalling foci for the initiation of different signalling networks. Several aspects of ligand-induced receptor clustering and association with signalling proteins are also influenced by the lipid composition of membranes. Thus, lipid microdomains have a function in tuning the activity of many transmembrane receptors by positively or negatively affecting receptor clustering and signal transduction. We review the current knowledge about the functions of clustering of transmembrane receptors and lipid-protein interactions important for the spatial organization of signalling at the membrane.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Microdomains / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Membrane Proteins