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Biochemistry. 2002 Apr 23;41(16):5067-74.

Direct identification of a G protein ubiquitination site by mass spectrometry.

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Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06536, USA.


Covalent attachment of ubiquitin is well-known to target proteins for degradation. Here, mass spectrometry was used to identify the site of ubiquitination in Gpa1, the G protein alpha subunit in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The modified residue is located at Lys165 within the alpha-helical domain of Galpha, a region of unknown function. Substitution of Lys165 with Arg (Gpa1(K165R)) results in a substantial decrease in ubiquitination. In addition, yeast expressing the Gpa1(K165R) mutant are moderately resistant to pheromone in growth inhibition assays-a phenotype consistent with enhanced Galpha signaling activity. These findings indicate that the alpha-helical domain may serve to regulate the turnover of Gpa1.

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