Theoretical considerations on the topological organization of receptor mosaics

Luigi Francesco Agnati, Kjell Fuxe, Amina S. Woods, Susanna Genedani, Diego Guidolin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The concept of Receptor Mosaic (RM) is discussed; hence the integrative functions of the assemblage of Gprotein coupled receptors physically interacting in the plane of the plasma membrane. The main focus is on a heterotrimer of G-protein coupled receptors, namely the A2A-D2-CB1 receptor trimer. A bioinformatics analysis was carried out on the amino acid sequence of these receptors to indicate domains possibly involved in the receptor-receptor interactions. Such a bioinformatic analysis was also carried out on the RM formed by mGLU R5, D2 and A2A. The importance of topology, i.e., of the reciprocal localisation of the three interacting receptors in the plan of the membrane for the RM integrative functions is underlined. However, it is also pointed out that this fundamental aspect still waits techniques capable of an appropriate investigation. Finally, it is discussed how RM topology can give hints for a structural definition of the concept of hub receptor. Thus, just as in any network, the receptor operating as a hub is the one that in the molecular network formed by the receptors has the highest number of inputs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-569
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Protein and Peptide Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • A2A-D2-CB1 receptor trimer
  • mGLU5-D2-A2A receptor trimer
  • Receptor bioinformatics analysis
  • Receptor mosaic
  • Receptor topology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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