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Department of Pharmacology

Smith, B, Hill, C, Godfrey, EL, Rand, D, van den Berg, H, Thornton, S, Hodgkin, M, Davey, J, Ladds, G

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) regulate a variety of intracellular pathways through their ability to promote the binding of GTP to heterotrimeric G proteins. Regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) proteins increases the intrinsic GTPase activity of Galpha-subunits and are widely regarded as negative regulators of G protein signaling. Using yeast we demonstrate that GTP hydrolysis is not only required for desensitization, but is essential for achieving a high maximal (saturated level) response. Thus RGS-mediated GTP hydrolysis acts as both a negative (low stimulation) and positive (high stimulation) regulator of signaling. To account for this we generated a new kinetic model of the G protein cycle where Galpha(GTP) enters an inactive GTP-bound state following effector activation. Furthermore, in vivo and in silico experimentation demonstrates that maximum signaling output first increases and then decreases with RGS concentration. This unimodal, non-monotone dependence on RGS concentration is novel. Analysis of the kinetic model has revealed a dynamic network motif that shows precisely how inclusion of the inactive GTP-bound state for the Galpha produces this unimodal relationship.

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Published date: 
July 2009
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Publication type: 
Journal articles
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Cell Signal
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