Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 1992 May 15;267(14):9852-7.

Factors determining the specificity of signal transduction by guanine nucleotide-binding protein-coupled receptors. II. Preferential coupling of the alpha 2C-adrenergic receptor to the guanine nucleotide-binding protein, Go.

Author information

Cellular and Molecular Research Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston 02114.


Cell to cell communication by many hormones and neurotransmitters involves three major entities: receptor (R), G-protein (G), and effector molecule (E). Plasticity in this system is conferred by the existence of each entity as isoforms or closely related subtypes that are expressed in a tissue-specific and developmentally regulated manner. Factors that determine signal specificity in this system are poorly understood. Such factors include the relative affinity and stoichiometry of R-G or G-E and the possible colocalization of R-G-E in cellular microdomains. Utilizing the alpha 2-adrenergic receptor (alpha 2-AR) system as a representative subfamily of this class of signal transducers, we determined the relative importance of these factors. By analysis of R-G coupling in mammalian cells cotransfected with alpha 2-AR genes and G alpha cDNA, we demonstrate preferential coupling between an alpha 2-AR subtype and Go. Our data implicate R-G affinity as an important determinant of signal transduction specificity and indicate that a critical level of Go alpha is required for coupling. This report indicates the utility of R-G cotransfection in mammalian cells as a "natural environment model" to characterize events occurring at the R-G and G-E interface.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center