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Reprogramming of G protein-coupled receptor recycling and signaling by a kinase switch.
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The postendocytic recycling of signaling receptors is subject to multiple requirements. Why this is so, considering that many other proteins can recycle without apparent requirements, is a fundamental question. Here we show that cells can leverage these requirements to switch the recycling of the beta-2 adrenergic receptor (B2AR), a prototypic signaling receptor, between sequence-dependent and bulk recycling pathways, based on extracellular signals. This switch is determined by protein kinase A-mediated phosphorylation of B2AR on the cytoplasmic tail. The phosphorylation state of B2AR dictates its partitioning into spatially and functionally distinct endosomal microdomains mediating bulk and sequence-dependent recycling, and also regulates the rate of B2AR recycling and resensitization. Our results demonstrate that G protein-coupled receptor recycling is not always restricted to the sequence-dependent pathway, but may be reprogrammed as needed by physiological signals. Such flexible reprogramming might provide a versatile method for rapidly modulating cellular responses to extracellular signaling.