National Center for
1AQG: NMR STRUCTURE OF THE RHODOPSIN-BOUND C-TERMINAL PEPTIDE OF THE TRANSDUCIN ALPHA-SUBUNIT, 20 STRUCTURES
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. (1998) 95 p.4270-4275
A large superfamily of transmembrane receptors control cellular responses to diverse extracellular signals by catalyzing activation of specific types of heterotrimeric GTP-binding proteins. How these receptors recognize and promote nucleotide exchange on G protein alpha subunits to initiate signal amplification is unknown. The three-dimensional structure of the transducin (Gt) alpha subunit C-terminal undecapeptide Gtalpha(340-350) IKENLKDCGLF was determined by transferred nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy while it was bound to photoexcited rhodopsin. Light activation of rhodopsin causes a dramatic shift from a disordered conformation of Gtalpha(340-350) to a binding motif with a helical turn followed by an open reverse turn centered at Gly-348, a helix-terminating C capping motif of an alphaL type. Docking of the NMR structure to the GDP-bound x-ray structure of Gt reveals that photoexcited rhodopsin promotes the formation of a continuous helix over residues 325-346 terminated by the C-terminal helical cap with a unique cluster of crucial hydrophobic side chains. A molecular mechanism by which activated receptors can control G proteins through reversible conformational changes at the receptor-G protein interface is demonstrated.