National Center for
1I7E: C-Terminal Domain Of Mouse Brain Tubby Protein bound to Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bis-phosphate
Dysfunction of the tubby protein results in maturity-onset obesity in mice. Tubby has been implicated as a transcription regulator, but details of the molecular mechanism underlying its function remain unclear. Here we show that tubby functions in signal transduction from heterotrimeric GTP-binding protein (G protein)-coupled receptors. Tubby localizes to the plasma membrane by binding phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate through its carboxyl terminal "tubby domain." X-ray crystallography reveals the atomic-level basis of this interaction and implicates tubby domains as phosphorylated-phosphatidyl- inositol binding factors. Receptor-mediated activation of G protein alphaq (Galphaq) releases tubby from the plasma membrane through the action of phospholipase C-beta, triggering translocation of tubby to the cell nucleus. The localization of tubby-like protein 3 (TULP3) is similarly regulated. These data suggest that tubby proteins function as membrane-bound transcription regulators that translocate to the nucleus in response to phosphoinositide hydrolysis, providing a direct link between G-protein signaling and the regulation of gene expression.