G Protein Coupled Receptor-mediated Transactivation of Extracellular Proteases

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G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) comprise the largest family of receptors in humans. Traditional activation of GPCRs involves binding of a ligand to the receptor, activation of heterotrimeric G proteins and induction of subsequent signaling molecules. It is now known that GPCR signaling occurs through G protein-independent pathways including signaling through β-arrestin and transactivation of other receptor types. Generally, transactivation occurs when activation of one receptor leads to the activation of another receptor(s). GPCR-mediated transactivation is an essential component of GPCR signaling, as activation of other receptor types, such as receptor tyrosine kinases, allows GPCRs to expand their signal transduction and affect various cellular responses. Several mechanisms have been identified for receptor transactivation downstream of GPCRs, one of which involves activation of extracellular proteases, such as a disintegrin and metalloprotease, and matrix metalloproteases . These proteases cleave and release ligands that are then able to activate their respective receptors. A disintegrin and metalloprotease, and matrix metalloproteases can be activated via various mechanisms downstream of GPCR activation, including activation via second messenger, direct phosphorylation, or direct G protein interaction. Additional understanding of the mechanisms involved in GPCR-mediated protease activation and subsequent receptor transactivation could lead to identification of new therapeutic targets.

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