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J Biol Chem. 1995 Jun 23;270(25):15175-80.

G alpha 15 and G alpha 16 couple a wide variety of receptors to phospholipase C.

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  • 1Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena 91125, USA.


The murine G-protein alpha-subunit G alpha 15 and its human counterpart G alpha 16 are expressed in a subset of hematopoietic cells, and they have been shown to regulate beta-isoforms of inositide-specific phospholipase C. We studied the ability of a variety of receptors to interact with G alpha 15 and G alpha 16 by cotransfecting receptors and G-protein alpha-subunits in COS-7 cells. Activation of beta 2 adrenergic and muscarinic M2 receptors in cells expressing the receptors alone or together with G alpha q, G alpha 11, or G alpha 14 led to a very small stimulation of endogenous phospholipase C. However, when the receptors were coexpressed with G alpha 15 and G alpha 16, addition of appropriate ligands caused a severalfold increase in inositol phosphate production which was time- and dose-dependent. A similar activation of phospholipase C was observed when several other receptors which were previously shown to couple to members of the Gi and Gs family were coexpressed with G alpha 15/16. In addition, stimulation of inositol phosphate formation via receptors naturally coupled to phospholipase C was enhanced by cotransfection of G alpha 15 and G alpha 16. These data demonstrate that G alpha 15 and G alpha 16 are unique in that they can be activated by a wide variety of G-protein-coupled receptors. The ability of G alpha 15 and G alpha 16 to bypass the selectivity of receptor G-protein interaction can be a useful tool to understand the mechanism of receptor-induced G-protein activation. In addition, the promiscuous behavior of G alpha 15 and G alpha 16 toward receptors may be helpful in finding ligands corresponding to orphan receptors whose signaling properties are unknown.

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