Regulation of heptaspanning-membrane-receptor function by dimerization and clustering

Rafael Franco, Meritxell Canals, Daniel Marcellino, Sergi Ferré, Luigi Agnati, Josefa Mallol, Vicent Casadó, Francisco Ciruela, Kjell Fuxe, Carmen Lluis, Enric I. Canela

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


G-protein-coupled receptors form homomers and heteromers; agonist-induced conformational changes within interacting receptors of the oligomer modify their pharmacology, signalling and/or trafficking. When these receptors are activated, the oligomers rearrange and cluster and a novel mechanism of receptor-operation regulation by oligomer intercommunication is possible. This intercommunication would be assisted by components of the plasma membrane and by scaffolding proteins. Receptor cross-sensitization, cross-desensitization and novel, integrated receptor responses can then develop between oligomeric receptor complexes of the cluster without direct contact between them. This concept gives a new perspective to the understanding of neurotransmission and neuronal plasticity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-243
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Biochemical Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2003
Externally publishedYes

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