Trafficking of ciliary G protein-coupled receptors

Methods Cell Biol. 2016:132:35-54. doi: 10.1016/bs.mcb.2015.11.009. Epub 2016 Jan 28.


In the last decade highly conserved cellular appendages called cilia have enjoyed a renewed interest from basic, biomedical scientists, and clinicians alike. This interest has grown upon the elucidation that cilia throughout the body serve as important sensory and signaling centers in both development and adult homeostasis. Furthermore, the identification of several rare genetic disorders associated with cilia dysfunction has broadened the field. However, even though their potential role in human health and disease is now recognized many basic questions about their functions remain. This chapter seeks to explore the trafficking of cilia-specific G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and discusses several model systems in which this has been explored. We open the chapter by briefly discussing cilia and GPCRs then begin discussing some aspects of rhodopsin trafficking, arguably the most well studied of cilia GPCRs. We continue with sections on neuronal cilia and olfactory cilia receptor trafficking. Finally, we conclude with the emerging area of dynamic ciliary GPCR trafficking and speculate about future directions and some of the questions that remain for ciliary GPCRs.

Keywords: Bardet–Biedl syndrome; Cilia; Ciliopathy; G protein-coupled receptor; Intraflagellar trafficking.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bardet-Biedl Syndrome / metabolism
  • Cilia / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Protein Transport
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*


  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled