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Biochemistry. 2003 Mar 11;42(9):2607-15.

Partial rescue of functional interactions of a nonpalmitoylated mutant of the G-protein G alpha s by fusion to the beta-adrenergic receptor.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology and Molecular Biology and Technology Research and Development Unit, Ankara University Faculty of Medicine, Sihhiye, 06100 Ankara, Turkey.


Most heterotrimeric G-protein alpha subunits are posttranslationally modified by palmitoylation, a reversible process that is dynamically regulated. We analyzed the effects of Galpha(s) palmitoylation for its intracellular distribution and ability to couple to the beta-adrenergic receptor (betaAR) and stimulate adenylyl cyclase. Subcellular fractionation and immunofluorescence microscopy of stably transfected cyc(-) cells, which lack endogenous Galpha(s), showed that wild-type Galpha(s) was predominantly localized at the plasma membrane, but the mutant C3A-Galpha(s), which does not incorporate [(3)H]palmitate, was mostly associated with intracellular membranes. In agreement with this mislocalization, C3A-Galpha(s) showed neither isoproterenol- or GTPgammaS-stimulated adenylyl cyclase activation nor GTPgammaS-sensitive high-affinity agonist binding, all of which were present in the wild-type Galpha(s) expressing cells. Fusion of C3A-Galpha(s) with the betaAR [betaAR-(C3A)Galpha(s)] partially rescued its ability to induce high-affinity agonist binding and to stimulate adenylyl cyclase activity after isoproterenol or GTPgammaS treatment. In comparison to results with the WT-Galpha(s) and betaAR (betaAR-Galpha(s)) fusion protein, the betaAR-(C3A)Galpha(s) fusion protein was about half as efficient at coupling to the receptor and effector. Chemical depalmitoylation by hydroxylamine of membranes expressing betaAR-Galpha(s) reduced the high-affinity agonist binding and adenylyl cyclase activation to a similar degree as that observed in betaAR-(C3A)Galpha(s) expressing membranes. Altogether, these findings indicate that palmitoylation ensured proper localization of Galpha(s) and facilitated bimolecular interactions of Galpha(s) with the betaAR and adenylyl cyclase.

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