This study examined the mechanism underlying the rat GnRH receptor (GnRH-R) internalization pathway by investigating the role of added/extended C-terminal tails and the effect of beta-arrestins and dynamin. The internalization of the wild-type (WT) rat GnRH-R, stop codon mutants, GnRH-R/TRH receptor (TRK-R) chimera, rat TRH-R, and catfish GnRH-R was examined using radioligand binding assay. Overexpression of beta-arrestin in COS-7 cells expressing each of the receptor constructs substantially increased endocytosis rate constants (k(e)) of the TRH-R, catfish GnRH-R, and GnRH-R/TRH-R chimera, but not of the WT rat GnRH-R and stop codon mutants. The beta-arrestin-promoted increase in the k(e) value was diminished by co- transfecting cells with the dominant negative beta-arrestin-(319-418) mutant, whereas WT GnRH-R and stop codon mutant internalization were unaffected. Additionally, confocal microscopy showed that activated GnRH-Rs failed to induce time-dependent redistribution of either beta-arrestin-1- or beta-arrestin-2-green fluorescent protein conjugate to the plasma membrane. However, the dominant negative dynamin (DynK44A) mutant impaired internalization of all of the receptors regardless of their p-arrestin dependency, indicating that they internalize via a clathrin-mediated pathway. We conclude that the mammalian GnRH-R uses a beta-arrestin-independent, dynamin-dependent internalization mechanism distinct from that employed by the other receptors studied.