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Curr Biol. 2001 Feb 20;11(4):288-93.

eat-11 encodes GPB-2, a Gbeta(5) ortholog that interacts with G(o)alpha and G(q)alpha to regulate C. elegans behavior.

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Department of Genetics, The University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


In C. elegans, a G(o)/G(q) signaling network regulates locomotion and egg laying [1-8]. Genetic analysis shows that activated Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is suppressed by perturbations of this network, which include loss of the GOA-1 G(o)alpha, DGK-1 diacylglycerol kinase, EAT-16 G protein gamma subunit-like (GGL)-containing RGS protein, or an unidentified protein encoded by the gene eat-11 [9]. We cloned eat-11 and report that it encodes the Gbeta(5) ortholog GPB-2. Gbeta(5) binds specifically to GGL-containing RGS proteins, and the Gbeta(5)/RGS complex can promote the GTP-hydrolyzing activity of Galpha subunits [10, 11]. However, little is known about how this interaction affects G protein signaling in vivo. In addition to EAT-16, the GGL-containing RGS protein EGL-10 participates in G(o)/G(q) signaling; EGL-10 appears to act as an RGS for the GOA-1 G(o)alpha, while EAT-16 appears to act as an RGS for the EGL-30 G(q)alpha [4, 5]. We have combined behavioral, electrophysiological, and pharmacological approaches to show that GPB-2 is a central member of the G(o)/G(q) network and that GPB-2 may interact with both the EGL-10 and EAT-16 RGS proteins to mediate the opposing activities of G(o)alpha and G(q)alpha. These interactions provide a mechanism for the modulation of behavior by antagonistic G protein networks.

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