Regulation of transmembrane signaling by receptor phosphorylation.


Journal Article (Review)

At least two major effects of receptor phosphorylation have been identified--regulation of receptor function, and regulation of receptor distribution. In many cases where phosphorylation directly alters the functions of receptors, this appears to be in a negative direction. Such decreases in receptor activity may reflect reduced ability to interact with biochemical effectors (e.g., the beta-adrenergic receptor, rhodopsin), reduced affinity for binding agonist ligands (EGF,IGF-I, insulin receptors) or reduced enzymatic activity (e.g., tyrosine kinase activity of the insulin or EGF receptor). In all instances, these negative modulations are associated with phosphorylation of serine and/or threonine residues of the receptor proteins. In contrast, the tyrosine kinase receptors also appear to be susceptible to positive modulation by phosphorylation. With these receptors, autophosphorylation of tyrosine residues may lead to enhanced protein-tyrosine kinase activity of the receptors and increased receptor function. In addition, the subcellular distribution of a receptor may be regulated by its phosphorylation status (e.g., the beta-adrenergic receptor, receptors for insulin, EGF, IGF-II, and transferrin). The emerging paradigm is that receptor phosphorylation may in some way promote receptor internalization into sequestered compartments where dephosphorylation occurs. The molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in translating changes in receptor phosphorylation into changes in receptor distribution remain to be elucidated. Moreover, the biological role of receptor internalization may be quite varied. Thus, in the case of the beta-adrenergic receptor, it may serve primarily as a mechanism for bringing the phosphorylated receptors into contact with intracellular phosphatases that dephosphorylate and resensitize it. By contrast, for the transferrin receptor and other receptors involved in receptor-mediated endocytosis, the internalization presumably functions to carry some specific ligand or metabolite into the cell. The role of phosphorylation in regulating receptor function dramatically extends the range of regulatory control of this important covalent modification.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sibley, DR; Benovic, JL; Caron, MG; Lefkowitz, RJ

Published Date

  • March 27, 1987

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 48 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 913 - 922

PubMed ID

  • 3030559

Pubmed Central ID

  • 3030559

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0092-8674

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0092-8674(87)90700-8


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States