Serotonin (5-HT) is a phylogenetically ancient transmitter implicated in many vital functions in human such as sleep, food intake, reproduction, nociception, regulation of mood and emotions as well as cognitive functions. Correspondingly, dysfunction of serotonergic transmission has been implicated in numerous psychiatric disorders such as anxio-depressive states, psychoses and addiction, and serotonergic systems are targets for a large array of psychoactive compounds including antidepressants, antipsychotics and hallucinogens. 5-HT acts on numerous receptor subtypes (14). Except for 5-HT3 receptors, which are cationic channels, 5-HT receptors belong to the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily and allow an extraordinarily diverse and complex pattern of cellular signalling. Over the past ten years, the majority of metabotropic 5-HT receptors has been found to interact with specific protein partners in addition to the ubiquitous GPCR modulators, GPCR kinases and β-arrestins, mainly by mean of two-hybrid and proteomic screens. These proteins, called GPCR-interacting proteins (GIPs) were found to profoundly influence the targeting, trafficking and signal transduction properties of 5-HT receptors. This article first describes our current knowledge of the nature of GIPs that bind to the different metabotropic 5-HT receptor categories. It then focuses on their impact on receptor functional status at the cellular level and illustrates how GIPs permit G protein-independent signal transduction at G protein-coupled 5-HT receptors. Finally, it reports recent data dealing with the roles of GIPs in 5-HT-related behaviours and highlights the potential of manipulating 5-HT receptor-GIP interactions to design new treatments in psychiatric disorders related to perturbations of serotonergic systems.
Keywords: 5-HT receptor, trafficking, targeting, signalling, beta-arrestin, PDZ protein, protein kinase, calmodulin, drug discovery, psychiatric disorders, β-arrestin
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