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J Cell Biol. 2003 Jan 6;160(1):89-99. Epub 2002 Dec 30.

Roles of G beta gamma in membrane recruitment and activation of p110 gamma/p101 phosphoinositide 3-kinase gamma.

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Institut für Physiologische Chemie II, Klinikum der Heinrich-Heine-Universität, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.


Receptor-regulated class I phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3K) phosphorylate the membrane lipid phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns)-4,5-P2 to PtdIns-3,4,5-P3. This, in turn, recruits and activates cytosolic effectors with PtdIns-3,4,5-P3-binding pleckstrin homology (PH) domains, thereby controlling important cellular functions such as proliferation, survival, or chemotaxis. The class IB p110 gamma/p101 PI3K gamma is activated by G beta gamma on stimulation of G protein-coupled receptors. It is currently unknown whether in living cells G beta gamma acts as a membrane anchor or an allosteric activator of PI3K gamma, and which role its noncatalytic p101 subunit plays in its activation by G beta gamma. Using GFP-tagged PI3K gamma subunits expressed in HEK cells, we show that G beta gamma recruits the enzyme from the cytosol to the membrane by interaction with its p101 subunit. Accordingly, p101 was found to be required for G protein-mediated activation of PI3K gamma in living cells, as assessed by use of GFP-tagged PtdIns-3,4,5-P3-binding PH domains. Furthermore, membrane-targeted p110 gamma displayed basal enzymatic activity, but was further stimulated by G beta gamma, even in the absence of p101. Therefore, we conclude that in vivo, G beta gamma activates PI3K gamma by a mechanism assigning specific roles for both PI3K gamma subunits, i.e., membrane recruitment is mediated via the noncatalytic p101 subunit, and direct stimulation of G beta gamma with p110 gamma contributes to activation of PI3K gamma.

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