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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Extreme C terminus of G protein alpha-subunits contains a site that discriminates between Gi-coupled metabotropic glutamate receptors.

Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu receptors), the Ca2+-sensing receptor, gamma-aminobutyric acid type B receptors, and one group of pheromone receptors constitute a unique family (also called family 3) of heptahelical receptors. This original family shares no sequence similarity with any other G protein-coupled receptors. The identification and comparison of the molecular determinants of receptor/G protein coupling within the different receptor families may help identify general rules involved in this protein/protein interaction. In order to detect possible contact sites important for coupling selectivity between family 3 receptors and the G protein alpha-subunits, we examined the coupling of the cyclase-inhibiting mGlu2 and mGlu4 receptors to chimeric alphaq-subunits bearing the 5 extreme C-terminal amino acid residues of either Galphai, Galphao, or Galphaz. Whereas mGlu4 receptor activated all three chimeric G proteins, mGlu2 receptor activated Galphaqi and Galphaqo but not Galphaqz. The mutation of isoleucine -4 of Galphaqz into cysteine was sufficient to recover coupling of the mutant G protein to mGlu2 receptor. Moreover, the mutation of cysteine -4 of Galphaqo into isoleucine was sufficient to suppress the coupling to mGlu2 receptor. Mutations at positions -5 and -1 had an effect on coupling efficiency, but not selectivity. Our results emphasize the importance of the residue -4 of the alpha-subunits in their specific interaction to heptahelical receptors by extending this finding on the third family of G protein-coupled receptors.[1]


  1. Extreme C terminus of G protein alpha-subunits contains a site that discriminates between Gi-coupled metabotropic glutamate receptors. Blahos, J., Mary, S., Perroy, J., de Colle, C., Brabet, I., Bockaert, J., Pin, J.P. J. Biol. Chem. (1998) [Pubmed]
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