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Nature. 2001 Feb 22;409(6823):1051-5.

RGS2 regulates signal transduction in olfactory neurons by attenuating activation of adenylyl cyclase III.

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Laboratory of Immunoregulation, NIAID, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The heterotrimeric G-protein Gs couples cell-surface receptors to the activation of adenylyl cyclases and cyclic AMP production (reviewed in refs 1, 2). RGS proteins, which act as GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) for the G-protein alpha-subunits alpha(i) and alpha(q), lack such activity for alpha(s) (refs 3-6). But several RGS proteins inhibit cAMP production by Gs-linked receptors. Here we report that RGS2 reduces cAMP production by odorant-stimulated olfactory epithelium membranes, in which the alpha(s) family member alpha(olf) links odorant receptors to adenylyl cyclase activation. Unexpectedly, RGS2 reduces odorant-elicited cAMP production, not by acting on alpha(olf) but by inhibiting the activity of adenylyl cyclase type III, the predominant adenylyl cyclase isoform in olfactory neurons. Furthermore, whole-cell voltage clamp recordings of odorant-stimulated olfactory neurons indicate that endogenous RGS2 negatively regulates odorant-evoked intracellular signalling. These results reveal a mechanism for controlling the activities of adenylyl cyclases, which probably contributes to the ability of olfactory neurons to discriminate odours.

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