A complex structure of arrestin-2 bound to a G protein-coupled receptor

Cell Res. 2019 Dec;29(12):971-983. doi: 10.1038/s41422-019-0256-2. Epub 2019 Nov 27.


Arrestins comprise a family of signal regulators of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which include arrestins 1 to 4. While arrestins 1 and 4 are visual arrestins dedicated to rhodopsin, arrestins 2 and 3 (Arr2 and Arr3) are β-arrestins known to regulate many nonvisual GPCRs. The dynamic and promiscuous coupling of Arr2 to nonvisual GPCRs has posed technical challenges to tackle the basis of arrestin binding to GPCRs. Here we report the structure of Arr2 in complex with neurotensin receptor 1 (NTSR1), which reveals an overall assembly that is strikingly different from the visual arrestin-rhodopsin complex by a 90° rotation of Arr2 relative to the receptor. In this new configuration, intracellular loop 3 (ICL3) and transmembrane helix 6 (TM6) of the receptor are oriented toward the N-terminal domain of the arrestin, making it possible for GPCRs that lack the C-terminal tail to couple Arr2 through their ICL3. Molecular dynamics simulation and crosslinking data further support the assembly of the Arr2‒NTSR1 complex. Sequence analysis and homology modeling suggest that the Arr2‒NTSR1 complex structure may provide an alternative template for modeling arrestin-GPCR interactions.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Molecular Docking Simulation / methods
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation
  • Receptors, Neurotensin* / chemistry
  • Receptors, Neurotensin* / metabolism
  • beta-Arrestin 2* / chemistry
  • beta-Arrestin 2* / metabolism


  • ARRB2 protein, human
  • Receptors, Neurotensin
  • beta-Arrestin 2
  • neurotensin type 1 receptor