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Sci. Signal., 14 December 2010
Vol. 3, Issue 152, p. re10
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3152re10]

REVIEWS

INTERSECTINg Pathways in Cell Biology

John P. O’Bryan*

Department of Pharmacology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.

Gloss: A challenge faced by multicellular organisms is cellular communication, which is critical for the regulation of cell growth, differentiation, development, and apoptosis. Cells must communicate with one another to respond to changes in the environment. In one cellular communication strategy, binding of extracellular ligands to transmembrane receptors activates a cascade of signaling events in cells, leading to rearrangement of the cytoskeleton, changes in enzyme activity, or generation of second messengers. Inactivation of these signaling events is also necessary to prevent chronic stimulation or activation of cells, such as that seen in cancer. One mechanism for decreasing receptor signaling is the removal of activated receptors from the plasma membrane through endocytosis, a regulated process of membrane internalization. However, endocytosis is also involved in the positive flow of signals in cells, and endocytic vesicles have emerged as platforms that enable compartmentalized signaling to provide temporal and spatial control of signal transduction. Thus, a key area of research in biology lies in defining the molecular links between cellular signaling pathways and the endocytic pathway. The intersectin family of scaffold proteins can interact with components of signaling pathways as well as those in the endocytic pathway and, thus, may link these two sets of pathways. This review, which includes three figures and 95 references, discusses the role of intersectins in regulating endocytosis and their link to various signal transduction pathways, describes the involvement of intersectins in human diseases, and highlights future directions of investigation.

* Corresponding author. E-mail, obryanj{at}uic.edu

Citation: J. P. O’Bryan, INTERSECTINg Pathways in Cell Biology. Sci. Signal. 3, re10 (2010).


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