Multiple mechanisms exist to control the signaling and density of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPRs). Upon agonist binding and receptor activation, a series of reactions participate in the turn off or desensitization of GPRs. Many GPRs are phosphorylated by protein kinases and consequently uncoupled from G proteins. In addition, many GPRs are sequestered from the cell surface and become inaccessible to their activating ligands. Both receptor:G protein uncoupling and receptor sequestration may involve the participation of arrestins or other proteins. A model for receptor regulation has been developed from studies of the β-adrenergic receptor. However, recent studies suggest that other GPRs important in the cardiovascular system, such as the muscarinic cholinergic receptors that regulate heart rate, might be regulated by mechanisms other than those that regulate the β-adrenergic receptors. This review summarizes our current understanding of the processes involved in the desensitization of GPRs.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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