Matching Accessories

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Science's STKE  08 Jul 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 190, pp. pe25
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.190.pe25

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Heterodimerization enhances the complexity of ligand recognition and diversity of signaling responses of heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Many accessory proteins (for ion channels or GPCRs) appear to associate with their partners relatively early in the process whereby proteins are transported to the cell surface; their roles in modulating function may have evolved out of simple proximity to a protein that once upon a time they either facilitated or accompanied through the maturation process. The receptor activity-modifying proteins (RAMPs) are a family of single-transmembrane accessory proteins that heterodimerize with GPCRs and, thereby, allow individual GPCRs to recognize multiple ligands and to activate various signaling pathways in response to ligand binding. The M10 family of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class 1b proteins has recently been shown to associate with murine vomeronasal V2R receptors, as well as to escort them to the cell surface. The exact role of M10 in modulating V2R function (or vice versa) remains to be determined.

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