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Brain Res. 2017 Oct 1;1672:106-112. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2017.07.014. Epub 2017 Jul 21.

Chronic intermittent ethanol exposure selectively alters the expression of Gα subunit isoforms and RGS subtypes in rat prefrontal cortex.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC 27157, USA.
2
Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC 27157, USA. Electronic address: rchen@wakehealth.edu.

Abstract

Chronic alcohol exposure induces pronounced changes in GPCR-mediated G-protein signaling. Recent microarray and RNA-seq analyses suggest associations between alcohol abuse and the expression of genes involved in G-protein signaling. The activity of G-proteins (e.g. Gαi/o and Gαq) is negatively modulated by regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) proteins which are implicated in drugs of abuse including alcohol. The present study used 7days of chronic intermittent ethanol exposure followed by 24h withdrawal (CIE) to investigate changes in mRNA and protein levels of G-protein subunit isoforms and RGS protein subtypes in rat prefrontal cortex, a region associated with cognitive deficit attributed to excessive alcohol drinking. We found that this ethanol paradigm induced differential expression of Gα subunits and RGS subtypes. For example, there were increased mRNA and protein levels of Gαi1/3 subunits and no changes in the expression of Gαs and Gαq subunits in ethanol-treated animals. Moreover, CIE increased the mRNA but not the protein levels of Gαo. Additionally, a modest increase in Gαi2 mRNA level by CIE was accompanied by a pronounced increase in its protein level. Interestingly, we found that CIE increased mRNA and protein levels of RGS2, RGS4, RGS7 and RGS19 but had no effect on the expression of RGS5, RGS6, RGS8, RGS12 or RGS17. Changes in the expression of Gα subunits and RGS subtypes could contribute to the functional alterations of certain GPCRs following chronic ethanol exposure. The present study suggests that RGS proteins may be potential new targets for intervention of alcohol abuse via modification of Gα-mediated GPCR function.

KEYWORDS:

Chronic intermittent ethanol; Gαi; Gαo; RGS proteins

PMID:
28736108
PMCID:
PMC5576566
DOI:
10.1016/j.brainres.2017.07.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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