G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are, with approximately 800 members, among the most abundant membrane proteins in humans. They are responding to a plethora of ligands and are involved in the transmission of extracellular signals inside the cell. GPCRs are synthesized in the endoplasmatic reticulum and are then transported to the cell surface where they are typically activated. Receptor activation triggers several processes such as signaling and receptor endocytosis. Along their life cycle, GPCRs are accompanied by a range of specialized GPCR-interacting proteins (GIPs) to assist nascent receptors in proper folding, to target them to the appropriate subcellular compartments and to fulfill their signaling tasks. Differential expression of GIPs and rapid alterations of GPCR/GIP interaction networks are efficient means to regulate GPCR function in a tissue-specific and spatiotemporal manner to trigger appropriate cellular responses. Interfering with a GPCR/GIP interaction might become a new strategy for specific therapeutic intervention. This chapter will focus on the importance of GIPs along the GPCR life cycle and discuss the dynamics and molecular organization of GPCR/GIP complexes.
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