The arrestin clan can now be broadly divided into three structurally similar subgroups: the originally identified arrestins (visual and β-arrestins), the α-arrestins and a group of Vps26-related proteins. The visual and β-arrestins selectively bind to agonist-occupied phosphorylated G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and inhibit GPCR coupling to heterotrimeric G proteins while the β-arrestins also function as adaptor proteins to regulate GPCR trafficking and G protein-independent signaling. The α-arrestins have also recently been implicated in regulating GPCR trafficking while Vps26 regulates retrograde trafficking. In this review, we provide an overview of the α-arrestins and β-arrestins with a focus on our current understanding of how these adaptor proteins regulate GPCR trafficking.
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