Ubiquitin-mediated Regulation of Endocytosis by Proteins of the Arrestin Family

Biochem Res Int. 2012;2012:242764. doi: 10.1155/2012/242764. Epub 2012 Sep 4.

Abstract

In metazoans, proteins of the arrestin family are key players of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRS) signaling and trafficking. Following stimulation, activated receptors are phosphorylated, thus allowing the binding of arrestins and hence an "arrest" of receptor signaling. Arrestins act by uncoupling receptors from G proteins and contribute to the recruitment of endocytic proteins, such as clathrin, to direct receptor trafficking into the endocytic pathway. Arrestins also serve as adaptor proteins by promoting the recruitment of ubiquitin ligases and participate in the agonist-induced ubiquitylation of receptors, known to have impact on their subcellular localization and stability. Recently, the arrestin family has expanded following the discovery of arrestin-related proteins in other eukaryotes such as yeasts or fungi. Surprisingly, most of these proteins are also involved in the ubiquitylation and endocytosis of plasma membrane proteins, thus suggesting that the role of arrestins as ubiquitin ligase adaptors is at the core of these proteins' functions. Importantly, arrestins are themselves ubiquitylated, and this modification is crucial for their function. In this paper, we discuss recent data on the intricate connections between arrestins and the ubiquitin pathway in the control of endocytosis.