Structure and function of heterotrimeric G protein-regulated Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factors.
ABSTRACT: Activation of certain classes of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) can lead to alterations in the actin cytoskeleton, gene transcription, cell transformation, and other processes that are known to be regulated by Rho family small-molecular-weight GTPases. Although these responses can occur indirectly via cross-talk from canonical heterotrimeric G protein cascades, it has recently been demonstrated that Dbl family Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RhoGEFs) can serve as the direct downstream effectors of heterotrimeric G proteins. Heterotrimeric Galpha(12/13), Galpha(q), and Gbetagamma subunits are each now known to directly bind and regulate RhoGEFs. Atomic structures have recently been determined for several of these RhoGEFs and their G protein complexes, providing fresh insight into the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction between GPCRs and small molecular weight G proteins. This review covers what is currently known about the structure, function, and regulation of these recently recognized effectors of heterotrimeric G proteins.
Project description:Heterotrimeric G-proteins are intracellular partners of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). GPCRs act on inactive Galpha.GDP/Gbetagamma heterotrimers to promote GDP release and GTP binding, resulting in liberation of Galpha from Gbetagamma. Galpha.GTP and Gbetagamma target effectors including adenylyl cyclases, phospholipases and ion channels. Signaling is terminated by intrinsic GTPase activity of Galpha and heterotrimer reformation - a cycle accelerated by 'regulators of G-protein signaling' (RGS proteins). Recent studies have identified several unconventional G-protein signaling pathways that diverge from this standard model. Whereas phospholipase C (PLC) beta is activated by Galpha(q) and Gbetagamma, novel PLC isoforms are regulated by both heterotrimeric and Ras-superfamily G-proteins. An Arabidopsis protein has been discovered containing both GPCR and RGS domains within the same protein. Most surprisingly, a receptor-independent Galpha nucleotide cycle that regulates cell division has been delineated in both Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. Here, we revisit classical heterotrimeric G-protein signaling and explore these new, non-canonical G-protein signaling pathways.
Project description:The heterotrimeric G-protein alpha subunit has long been considered a bimodal, GTP-hydrolyzing switch controlling the duration of signal transduction by seven-transmembrane domain (7TM) cell-surface receptors. In 1996, we and others identified a superfamily of "regulator of G-protein signaling" (RGS) proteins that accelerate the rate of GTP hydrolysis by Galpha subunits (dubbed GTPase-accelerating protein or "GAP" activity). This discovery resolved the paradox between the rapid physiological timing seen for 7TM receptor signal transduction in vivo and the slow rates of GTP hydrolysis exhibited by purified Galpha subunits in vitro. Here, we review more recent discoveries that have highlighted newly-appreciated roles for RGS proteins beyond mere negative regulators of 7TM signaling. These new roles include the RGS-box-containing, RhoA-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RGS-RhoGEFs) that serve as Galpha effectors to couple 7TM and semaphorin receptor signaling to RhoA activation, the potential for RGS12 to serve as a nexus for signaling from tyrosine kinases and G-proteins of both the Galpha and Ras-superfamilies, the potential for R7-subfamily RGS proteins to couple Galpha subunits to 7TM receptors in the absence of conventional Gbetagamma dimers, and the potential for the conjoint 7TM/RGS-box Arabidopsis protein AtRGS1 to serve as a ligand-operated GAP for the plant Galpha AtGPA1. Moreover, we review the discovery of novel biochemical activities that also impinge on the guanine nucleotide binding and hydrolysis cycle of Galpha subunits: namely, the guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitor (GDI) activity of the GoLoco motif-containing proteins and the 7TM receptor-independent guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) activity of Ric8/synembryn. Discovery of these novel GAP, GDI, and GEF activities have helped to illuminate a new role for Galpha subunit GDP/GTP cycling required for microtubule force generation and mitotic spindle function in chromosomal segregation.
Project description:Heterotrimeric G-proteins are a class of signal transduction proteins highly conserved throughout evolution that serve as dynamic molecular switches regulating the intracellular communication initiated by extracellular signals including sensory information. This property is achieved by a guanine nucleotide cycle wherein the inactive, signaling-incompetent Galpha subunit is normally bound to GDP; activation to signaling-competent Galpha occurs through the exchange of GDP for GTP (typically catalyzed via seven-transmembrane domain G-protein coupled receptors [GPCRs]), which dissociates the Gbetagamma dimer from Galpha-GTP and initiates signal transduction. The hydrolysis of GTP, greatly accelerated by "Regulator of G-protein Signaling" (RGS) proteins, returns Galpha to its inactive GDP-bound form and terminates signaling. Through extensive characterization of mammalian Galpha isoforms, the rate-limiting step in this cycle is currently considered to be the GDP/GTP exchange rate, which can be orders of magnitude slower than the GTP hydrolysis rate. However, we have recently demonstrated that, in Arabidopsis, the guanine nucleotide cycle appears to be limited by the rate of GTP hydrolysis rather than nucleotide exchange. This finding has important implications for the mechanism of sugar sensing in Arabidopsis. We also discuss these data on Arabidopsis G-protein nucleotide cycling in relation to recent reports of putative plant GPCRs and heterotrimeric G-protein effectors in Arabidopsis.
Project description:According to accepted doctrine, agonist-bound G protein-coupled receptors catalyze the exchange of GDP for GTP and facilitate the dissociation of Galpha and Gbetagamma, which in turn regulate their respective effectors. More recently, the existence of preformed signaling complexes, which may include receptors, heterotrimeric G proteins, and/or effectors, is gaining acceptance. We show herein the existence of a preformed complex of inactive heterotrimer (Galpha(s) x betagamma) and the effector type 5 adenylyl cyclase (AC5), localized by the N terminus of AC5. GST fusions of AC5 N terminus (5NT) bind to purified G protein subunits (GDP-Galpha(s) and Gbetagamma) with apparent affinities of 270 +/- 21 and 190 +/- 7 nM, respectively. GDP-bound Galpha(s) and Gbetagamma did not compete, but rather facilitated their interaction with 5NT, consistent with the isolation of a ternary complex (5NT, Galpha(s), and Gbetagamma) by gel filtration. The AC5/Gbetagamma interaction was also demonstrated by immunoprecipitation and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and the binding site of heterotrimer Galpha(s) x betagamma mapped to amino acids 60 to 129 of 5NT. Deletion of this region in full-length AC5 resulted in significant reduction of FRET between Gbetagamma and AC. 5NT also interacts with the catalytic core of AC, mainly via the C1 domain, to enhance Galpha(s)--and forskolin-stimulated activity of C1/C2 domains. The N terminus also serves to constrain Galpha(i)-mediated inhibition of AC5, which is relieved in the presence of Gbetagamma. These results reveal that 5NT plays a key regulatory role by interacting with the catalytic core and scaffolding inactive heterotrimeric G proteins, forming a preassembled complex that is potentially braced for GPCR activation.
Project description:The coordinated cross-talk from heterotrimeric G proteins to Rho GTPases is essential during a variety of physiological processes. Emerging data suggest that members of the Galpha(12/13) and Galpha(q/11) families of heterotrimeric G proteins signal downstream to RhoA via distinct pathways. Although studies have elucidated mechanisms governing Galpha(12/13)-mediated RhoA activation, proteins that functionally couple Galpha(q/11) to RhoA activation have remained elusive. Recently, the Dbl-family guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) p63RhoGEF/GEFT has been described as a novel mediator of Galpha(q/11) signaling to RhoA based on its ability to synergize with Galpha(q/11) resulting in enhanced RhoA signaling in cells. We have used biochemical/biophysical approaches with purified protein components to better understand the mechanism by which activated Galpha(q) directly engages and stimulates p63RhoGEF. Basally, p63RhoGEF is autoinhibited by the Dbl homology (DH)-associated pleckstrin homology (PH) domain; activated Galpha(q) relieves this autoinhibition by interacting with a highly conserved C-terminal extension of the PH domain. This unique extension is conserved in the related Dbl-family members Trio and Kalirin and we show that the C-terminal Rho-specific DH-PH cassette of Trio is similarly activated by Galpha(q).
Project description:Saccharomyces cerevisiae mating pheromones trigger dissociation of a heterotrimeric G protein (Galphabetagamma) into Galpha-guanosine triphosphate (GTP) and Gbetagamma. The Gbetagamma dimer regulates both mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase cascade signaling and cell polarization. Here, by independently activating the MAP kinase pathway, we studied the polarity role of Gbetagamma in isolation from its signaling role. MAP kinase signaling alone could induce cell asymmetry but not directional growth. Surprisingly, active Gbetagamma, either alone or with Galpha-GTP, could not organize a persistent polarization axis. Instead, following pheromone gradients (chemotropism) or directional growth without pheromone gradients (de novo polarization) required an intact receptor-Galphabetagamma module and GTP hydrolysis by Galpha. Our results indicate that chemoattractant-induced cell polarization requires continuous receptor-Galphabetagamma communication but not modulation of MAP kinase signaling. To explore regulation of Gbetagamma by Galpha, we mutated Gbeta residues in two structurally distinct Galpha-Gbeta binding interfaces. Polarity control was disrupted only by mutations in the N-terminal interface, and not the Switch interface. Incorporation of these mutations into a Gbeta-Galpha fusion protein, which enforces subunit proximity, revealed that Switch interface dissociation regulates signaling, whereas the N-terminal interface may govern receptor-Galphabetagamma coupling. These findings raise the possibility that the Galphabetagamma heterotrimer can function in a partially dissociated state, tethered by the N-terminal interface.
Project description:The Galpha subunits of heterotrimeric G proteins (Galphabetagamma) mediate signal transduction via activation by receptors and subsequent interaction with downstream effectors. Crystal structures indicate that conformational changes in "switch" sequences of Galpha, controlled by the identity of the bound nucleotide (GDP and GTP), modulate binding affinities to the Gbetagamma subunits, receptor, and effector proteins. To investigate the solution structure and dynamics of Galphai1 through the G protein cycle, nitroxide side chains (R1) were introduced at sites in switch II and at a site in helix alpha4, a putative effector binding region. In the inactive Galphai1(GDP) state, the EPR spectra are compatible with conformational polymorphism in switch II. Upon complex formation with Gbetagamma, motions of R1 are highly constrained, reflecting direct contact interactions at the Galphai1-Gbeta interface; remarkably, the presence of R1 at the sites investigated does not substantially affect the binding affinity. Complex formation between the heterotrimer and activated rhodopsin leads to a dramatic change in R1 motion at residue 217 in the receptor-binding alpha2/beta4 loop and smaller allosteric changes at the Galphai1-Gbetagamma interface distant from the receptor binding surface. Upon addition of GTPgammaS, the activated Galphai1(GTP) subunit dissociates from the complex, and switch II is transformed to a unique conformation similar to that in crystal structures but with a flexible backbone. A previously unreported activation-dependent change in alpha4, distant from the interaction surface, supports a role for this helix in effector binding.
Project description:The aberrant activity of Ras homologous (Rho) family small GTPases (20 human members) has been implicated in cancer and other human diseases. However, in contrast to the direct mutational activation of Ras found in cancer and developmental disorders, Rho GTPases are activated most commonly in disease by indirect mechanisms. One prevalent mechanism involves aberrant Rho activation via the deregulated expression and/or activity of Rho family guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RhoGEFs). RhoGEFs promote formation of the active GTP-bound state of Rho GTPases. The largest family of RhoGEFs is comprised of the Dbl family RhoGEFs with 70 human members. The multitude of RhoGEFs that activate a single Rho GTPase reflects the very specific role of each RhoGEF in controlling distinct signaling mechanisms involved in Rho activation. In this review, we summarize the role of Dbl RhoGEFs in development and disease, with a focus on Ect2 (epithelial cell transforming squence 2), Tiam1 (T-cell lymphoma invasion and metastasis 1), Vav and P-Rex1/2 (PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 (phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-triphosphate)-dependent Rac exchanger).
Project description:Heterotrimeric G proteins function as molecular relays that mediate signal transduction from heptahelical receptors in the cell membrane to intracellular effector proteins. Crystallographic studies have demonstrated that guanine nucleotide exchange on the Galpha subunit causes specific conformational changes in three key "switch" regions of the protein, which regulate binding to Gbetagamma subunits, receptors, and effector proteins. In the present study, nitroxide side chains were introduced at sites within the switch I region of Galphai to explore the structure and dynamics of this region throughout the G protein cycle. EPR spectra obtained for each of the Galpha(GDP), Galpha(GDP)betagamma heterotrimer and Galpha(GTPgammaS) conformations are consistent with the local environment observed in the corresponding crystal structures. Binding of the heterotrimer to activated rhodopsin to form the nucleotide-free (empty) complex, for which there is no crystal structure, causes prominent changes relative to the heterotrimer in the structure of switch I and contiguous sequences. The data identify a putative pathway of allosteric changes triggered by receptor binding and, together with previously published data, suggest elements of a mechanism for receptor-catalyzed nucleotide exchange.
Project description:G-protein coupled receptors activate heterotrimeric G proteins at the plasma membrane in which most of their effectors are intrinsically located or transiently associated as the external signal is being transduced. This paradigm has been extended to the intracellular compartments by studies in yeast showing that trafficking of Galpha activates phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) at endosomal compartments, suggesting that vesicle trafficking regulates potential actions of Galpha and possibly Gbetagamma at the level of endosomes. Here, we show that Gbetagamma interacts with Rab11a and that the two proteins colocalize at early and recycling endosomes in response to activation of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) receptors. This agonist-dependent association of Gbetagamma to Rab11a-positive endosomes contributes to the recruitment of PI3K and phosphorylation of AKT at this intracellular compartment. These events are sensitive to the expression of a dominant-negative Rab11a mutant or treatment with wortmannin, suggesting that Rab11a-dependent Gbetagamma trafficking promotes the activation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway associated with endosomal compartments. In addition, RNA interference-mediated Rab11a depletion, or expression of a dominant-negative Rab11a mutant attenuated LPA-dependent cell survival and proliferation, suggesting that endosomal activation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway in response to Gbetagamma trafficking, via its interaction with Rab11, is a relevant step in the mechanism controlling these fundamental events.