When cells are starved of their substrate, many nutrient transporters are induced. These undergo rapid endocytosis and redirection of their intracellular trafficking when their substrate becomes available again. The discovery that some of these transporters also act as receptors, or transceptors, suggests that at least part of the sophisticated controls governing the trafficking of these proteins has to do with their signaling function rather than with control of transport. In yeast, the general amino acid permease Gap1 mediates signaling to the protein kinase A pathway. Its endocytic internalization and intracellular trafficking are subject to amino acid control. Other nutrient transceptors controlling this signal transduction pathway appear to be subject to similar trafficking regulation. Transporters with complex regulatory control have also been suggested to function as transceptors in other organisms. Hence, precise regulation of intracellular trafficking in nutrient transporters may be related to the need for tight control of nutrient-induced signaling.
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