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J Mol Biol. 2005 Nov 11;353(5):1081-92. Epub 2005 Sep 30.

N-terminally truncated variant of the mouse GAIP/RGS19 lacks selectivity of full-length GAIP/RGS19 protein in regulating ORL1 receptor signaling.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


The regulators of G protein signaling (RGS) are a family of proteins with conserved RGS domains and play essential roles in regulating G protein-mediated signal transduction and physiological events. GAIP/RGS19 (G alpha interacting protein, also classified as RGS19), a member of the RGS family, has been shown to negatively regulate the signaling of many G protein-coupled receptors, including the opioid receptors. Two GAIP/RGS19 mRNA variants, resulted from an alternative splicing of exon 2 of the GAIP/RGS19 gene, were identified in multiple mouse tissues. One of the transcripts consists of a complete set of exons and encodes a full-length GAIP/RGS19 protein, and the other does not have exon 2 and therefore encodes an N-terminal 22 residue truncated short GAIP/RGS19 protein. When co-expressed with either the opioid-receptor-like (ORL1) receptor or one of the mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptors, by transfecting dual-expression plasmids into COS-7 cells, the full-length GAIP/RGS19 was more effective than the N-terminally truncated variant and was more selective in regulating the ORL1 receptor signaling than in regulating the mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptors, as measured by the effectiveness to increase the agonist-stimulated GTPase activity and to reverse the agonist-induced inhibition of cyclic AMP accumulation. In the same assays, the N-terminally truncated GAIP/RGS19 did not distinguish ORL1 from the mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptors. In contrast, co-expression of RGS4 with either ORL1 or opioid receptors showed the selectivity of RGS4 for regulating opioid receptors was mu > kappa > delta > ORL1, an order completely different from that of GAIP/RGS19. The results suggest that GAIP/RGS19 prefers regulating ORL1 receptor signaling over other opioid receptors, and that the N-terminal domain of GAIP/RGS19 plays a crucial role in its receptor preference.

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