In vitro expression and analysis of the 826 human G protein-coupled receptors.
ABSTRACT: G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are involved in all human physiological systems where they are responsible for transducing extracellular signals into cells. GPCRs signal in response to a diverse array of stimuli including light, hormones, and lipids, where these signals affect downstream cascades to impact both health and disease states. Yet, despite their importance as therapeutic targets, detailed molecular structures of only 30 GPCRs have been determined to date. A key challenge to their structure determination is adequate protein expression. Here we report the quantification of protein expression in an insect cell expression system for all 826 human GPCRs using two different fusion constructs. Expression characteristics are analyzed in aggregate and among each of the five distinct subfamilies. These data can be used to identify trends related to GPCR expression between different fusion constructs and between different GPCR families, and to prioritize lead candidates for future structure determination feasibility.
Project description:G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are flexible integral membrane proteins involved in transmembrane signaling. Their involvement in many physiological processes makes them interesting targets for drug development. Determination of the structure of these receptors will help to design more specific drugs, however, their structural characterization has so far been hampered by the low expression and their inherent instability in detergents which made protein engineering indispensable for structural and biophysical characterization. Several approaches to stabilize the receptors in a particular conformation have led to breakthroughs in GPCR structure determination. These include truncations of the flexible regions, stabilization by antibodies and nanobodies, fusion partners, high affinity and covalently bound ligands as well as conformational stabilization by mutagenesis. In this review we focus on stabilization of GPCRs by insertion of point mutations, which lead to increased conformational and thermal stability as well as improved expression levels. We summarize existing mutagenesis strategies with different coverage of GPCR sequence space and depth of information, design and transferability of mutations and the molecular basis for stabilization. We also discuss whether mutations alter the structure and pharmacological properties of GPCRs.
Project description:The signal specificity of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) including serotonin receptors (5-HT-R) depends on the trafficking and localization of the GPCR within its subcellular signaling domain. Visualizing traffic-dependent GPCR signals in neurons is difficult, but important to understand the contribution of GPCRs to synaptic plasticity. We engineered CaMello (Ca2+-melanopsin-local-sensor) and CaMello-5HT2A for visualization of traffic-dependent Ca2+ signals in 5-HT2A-R domains. These constructs consist of the light-activated Gq/11 coupled melanopsin, mCherry and GCaMP6m for visualization of Ca2+ signals and receptor trafficking, and the 5-HT2A C-terminus for targeting into 5-HT2A-R domains. We show that the specific localization of the GPCR to its receptor domain drastically alters the dynamics and localization of the intracellular Ca2+ signals in different neuronal populations in vitro and in vivo. The CaMello method may be extended to every GPCR coupling to the Gq/11 pathway to help unravel new receptor-specific functions in respect to synaptic plasticity and GPCR localization.
Project description:The 826 G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in the human proteome regulate key physiological processes and thus have long been attractive drug targets. With the crystal structures of more than 50 different human GPCRs determined over the past decade, an initial platform for structure-based rational design has been established for drugs that target GPCRs, which is currently being augmented with cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of higher-order GPCR complexes. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy in solution is one of the key approaches for expanding this platform with dynamic features, which can be accessed at physiological temperature and with minimal modification of the wild-type GPCR covalent structures. Here, we review strategies for the use of advanced biochemistry and NMR techniques with GPCRs, survey projects in which crystal or cryo-EM structures have been complemented with NMR investigations and discuss the impact of this integrative approach on GPCR biology and drug discovery.
Project description:GPCRs (G-protein-coupled receptors) play an extremely important role in transducing extracellular signals across the cell membrane with high specificity and sensitivity. They are central to many of the body's endocrine and neurotransmitter pathways, and are consequently a major drug target. It is now clear that GPCRs interact with a range of proteins, including other GPCRs. Identifying and elucidating the function of such interactions will significantly enhance our understanding of cellular function, with the promise of new and improved pharmaceuticals. Biophysical techniques involving resonance energy transfer, namely FRET (fluorescence resonance energy transfer) and BRET (bioluminescence resonance energy transfer), now enable us to monitor the formation of dynamic GPCR-protein complexes in living cells, in real time. Their use has firmly established the concept of GPCR oligomerization, as well as demonstrating GPCR interactions with GPCR kinases, beta-arrestins, adenylate cyclase and a subunit of an inwardly rectifying K+ channel. The present review examines recent technological advances and experimental applications of FRET and BRET, discussing particularly how they have been adapted to extract an ever-increasing amount of information about the nature, specificity, stoichiometry, kinetics and agonist-dependency of GPCR-protein interactions.
Project description:G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) relay numerous extracellular signals by triggering intracellular signaling through coupling with G proteins and arrestins. Recent breakthroughs in the structural determination of GPCRs and GPCR-transducer complexes represent important steps toward deciphering GPCR signal transduction at a molecular level. A full understanding of the molecular basis of GPCR-mediated signaling requires elucidation of the dynamics of receptors and their transducer complexes as well as their energy landscapes and conformational transition rates. Here, we summarize current insights into the structural plasticity of GPCR-G-protein and GPCR-arrestin complexes that underlies the regulation of the receptor's intracellular signaling profile.
Project description:Structural studies of human G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) have recently been accelerated through the use of a fusion partner that was inserted into the third intracellular loop. Using chimeras of the human ?(2)-adrenergic and human A(2A) adenosine receptors, we present the methodology and data for the initial selection of an expanded set of fusion partners for crystallizing GPCRs. In particular, use of the thermostabilized apocytochrome b(562)RIL as a fusion partner displays certain advantages over previously utilized fusion proteins, resulting in a significant improvement in stability and structure of GPCR-fusion constructs.
Project description:Signaling across cellular membranes, the 826 human G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) govern a wide range of vital physiological processes, making GPCRs prominent drug targets. X-ray crystallography provided GPCR molecular architectures, which also revealed the need for additional structural dynamics data to support drug development. Here, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy with the wild-type-like A2A adenosine receptor (A2AAR) in solution provides a comprehensive characterization of signaling-related structural dynamics. All six tryptophan indole and eight glycine backbone 15N-1H NMR signals in A2AAR were individually assigned. These NMR probes provided insight into the role of Asp522.50 as an allosteric link between the orthosteric drug binding site and the intracellular signaling surface, revealing strong interactions with the toggle switch Trp 2466.48, and delineated the structural response to variable efficacy of bound drugs across A2AAR. The present data support GPCR signaling based on dynamic interactions between two semi-independent subdomains connected by an allosteric switch at Asp522.50.
Project description:Receptor trafficking is pivotal for the temporal and spatial control of GPCR signaling and is regulated by multiple cellular proteins. We provide evidence that GPCRs interact with 14-3-3 signal adaptor/scaffold proteins and that this interaction regulates receptor trafficking in two ways. We found GPCR/14-3-3 interaction signals can be agonist-induced or agonist-inhibited. Some GPCRs associate with 14-3-3 proteins at the cell membrane and agonist treatments result in disrupted GPCR/14-3-3 interaction signals. The diminished GPCR/14-3-3 interaction signals are temporally correlated with increased GPCR/β-arrestin interaction signals in response to agonist treatment. Other GPCRs showed agonist-induced GPCR/14-3-3 interaction signal increases that occur later than agonist-induced GPCR/β-arrestin interaction signals, indicating that GPCR/14-3-3 interaction occurred after receptor endocytosis. These two types of GPCR/14-3-3 interaction patterns correlate with different receptor trafficking patterns. In addition, the bioinformatic analysis predicts that approximately 90% of GPCRs contain at least one putative 14-3-3 binding motif, suggesting GPCR/14-3-3 association could be a general phenomenon. Based on these results and collective evidence, we propose a working model whereby 14-3-3 serves as a sorting factor to regulate receptor trafficking.
Project description:The proton-sensing GPCRs (pH-GPCRs) GPR4 (GPR19), TDAG8 (GPR65, T-cell death associated gene 8), OGR1 (GPR68, ovarian cancer GPCR1), and G2A (GPR132, G2 accumulation protein) are involved in sensing and transducing changes in extracellular pH (pHe). Extracellular acidification is a central hallmark of solid cancer. pH-GPCR function has been associated with cancer cell proliferation, adhesion, migration and metastasis, as well as with modulation of the immune system. Little is known about the expression levels and role of pH-GPCRs in skin cancer. To better understand the functions of pH-GPCRs in skin cancer in vivo, we examined the expression-profiles of GPR4, TDAG8, OGR1 and G2A in four common skin tumors, i.e. squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), malignant melanoma (MM), compound nevus cell nevi (NCN), basal cell carcinoma (BCC). We performed immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence staining on paraffin-embedded tissue samples acquired from patients suffering from SCC, MM, NCN or BCC. We show the expression of pH-GPCRs in four common skin cancers. Different expression patterns in the investigated skin cancer types indicate that the different pH-GPCRs may have distinct functions in tumor progression and serve as novel therapeutic targets.
Project description:The past decade has witnessed remarkable progress in the determination of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) structures, profoundly expanding our understanding of how GPCRs recognize ligands, become activated, and interact with intracellular signaling components. In recent years, numerous studies have used solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to investigate GPCRs, providing fundamental insights into GPCR conformational changes, allostery, dynamics, and other facets of GPCR function are challenging to study using other structural techniques. Despite these advantages, NMR-based studies of GPCRs are few relative to the number of published structures, due in part to the challenges and limitations of NMR for the characterization of large membrane proteins. Several studies have circumvented these challenges using a variety of isotopic labeling strategies, including side chain derivatization and metabolic incorporation of NMR-active nuclei. In this chapter, we provide an overview of different isotopic labeling strategies and describe an in-depth protocol for the expression, purification, and NMR studies of the chemokine GPCR atypical chemokine receptor 3 (ACKR3) via 13CH3-methionine incorporation. The goal of this chapter is to provide a resource to the GPCR community for those interested in pursuing NMR studies of GPCRs.