Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 334, Issue 1–2, pp 81–98 | Cite as

Ligand-mediated endocytosis and intracellular sequestration of guanylyl cyclase/natriuretic peptide receptors: role of GDAY motif

  • Kailash N. Pandey


The guanylyl cyclase/natriuretic peptide receptor-A (GC-A/NPRA), also referred to as GC-A, is a single polypeptide molecule having a critical function in blood pressure regulation and cardiovascular homeostasis. GC-A/NPRA, which resides in the plasma membrane, consists of an extracellular ligand-binding domain, a single transmembrane domain, and an intracellular cytoplasmic region containing a protein kinase-like homology domain (KHD) and a guanylyl cyclase (GC) catalytic domain. After binding with atrial and brain natriuretic peptides (ANP and BNP), GC-A/NPRA is internalized and sequestered into intracellular compartments. Therefore, GC-A/NPRA is a dynamic cellular macromolecule that traverses different subcellular compartments through its lifetime. This review describes the roles of short-signal sequences in the internalization, trafficking, and intracellular redistribution of GC-A/NPRA from cell surface to cell interior. Evidence indicates that, after internalization, the ligand–receptor complexes dissociate inside the cell and a population of GC-A/NPRA recycles back to the plasma membrane. Subsequently, the disassociated ligands are degraded in the lysosomes. However, a small percentage of the ligand escapes the lysosomal degradative pathway, and is released intact into culture medium. Using pharmacologic and molecular perturbants, emphasis has been placed on the cellular regulation and processing of ligand-bound GC-A/NPRA in terms of receptor trafficking and down-regulation in intact cells. The discussion is concluded by examining the functions of short-signal sequence motifs in the cellular life-cycle of GC-A/NPRA, including endocytosis, trafficking, metabolic processing, inactivation, and/or down-regulation in model cell systems.


Atrial and brain natriuretic peptides Guanylyl cyclase/natriuretic peptide receptors Internalization and trafficking Short-sequence signal motifs 



I thank my wife Kamala Pandey for her assistance in preparing this manuscript. I also offer my special thanks to Dr. Bharat B. Aggarwal, Department of Experimental Therapeutics and Cytokine Research Laboratory at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, and Dr. Susan L. Hamilton, Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, who made their facilities available to us during our displacement due to Hurricane Katrina. This study, in the author’s laboratory, was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (HL57531 and R56 HL57531).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyTulane University School of MedicineNew OrleansUSA

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