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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Jan 13;101(2):488-93. Epub 2003 Dec 29.

Analysis of C5a-mediated chemotaxis by lentiviral delivery of small interfering RNA.

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  • 1Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


Immune cells respond to chemotactic signals by means of G protein-coupled receptors. Attempts to elucidate the function of specific G protein family members in these responses is complicated by redundancy among the different G protein isoforms. We have used lentiviral-based RNA interference to eliminate expression of specific G protein subunits selectively in J774A.1 mouse macrophages. The chemotactic response to the complement factors C5a and C3a is ablated in cells lacking G beta(2) but is unaffected in cells lacking G beta(1), G alpha i(2), or G alpha i(3). Similarly, the C5a-mediated calcium response of single cells is either absent or significantly delayed and weakened by G beta(2) knockdown. Assessment of Akt1 phosphorylation levels in response to C5a shows rapid and sustained phosphorylation in both wild-type cells and cells lacking G beta(1). Cells lacking G beta(2) retain the rapid response but cannot sustain phospho-Akt1 levels. The phenotype of cells lacking G beta(2) can be reversed by overexpression of either human G beta(2) or mouse G beta(1). These data demonstrate the usefulness of lentiviral-based RNA interference in the systematic analysis of a signaling pathway, and they suggest that in J774A.1 cells, G beta(2)-derived G beta gamma is the most effective mediator of chemotaxis to C5a.

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