Sorting Out Receptors

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Science  26 Jul 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5581, pp. 473
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5581.473l

What are the mechanisms by which different G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are recycled to the cell surface or targeted to the lysosomes for degradation? Whistler et al. (p. 615; see the Perspective by Gray and Roth) describe the role that one protein, GASP (GPCR-associated sorting protein), plays in the fate of two structurally related opioid GPCRs. The carboxyl-terminal cytoplasmic domain of the delta opioid receptor, but not that of the mu opioid receptor, binds to GASP, and this interaction promotes transport to the lysosome. Several other endocytic receptors also interact with GASP, which appears to be a key player in regulating sorting to lysosomes versus recycling after endocytosis.

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