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J Neurochem. 2012 Aug;122(3):568-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2012.07811.x. Epub 2012 Jun 22.

Subcellular localization of regulator of G protein signaling RGS7 complex in neurons and transfected cells.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA.


The R7 family of regulators of G protein signaling (RGS) is involved in many functions of the nervous system. This family includes RGS6, RGS7, RGS9, and RGS11 gene products and is defined by the presence of the characteristic first found in Disheveled, Egl-10, Pleckstrin (DEP), DEP helical extension (DHEX), Gγ-like, and RGS domains. Herein, we examined the subcellular localization of RGS7, the most broadly expressed R7 member. Our immunofluorescence studies of retinal and dorsal root ganglion neurons showed that RGS7 concentrated at the plasma membrane of cell bodies, in structures resembling lamellipodia or filopodia along the processes, and at the dendritic tips. At the plasma membrane of dorsal root ganglia neurons, RGS7 co-localized with its known binding partners R7 RGS binding protein (R7BP), Gαo, and Gαq. More than 50% of total RGS7-specific immunofluorescence was present in the cytoplasm, primarily within numerous small puncta that did not co-localize with R7BP. No specific RGS7 or R7BP immunoreactivity was detected in the nuclei. In transfected cell lines, ectopic RGS7 had both diffuse cytosolic and punctate localization patterns. RGS7 also localized in centrosomes. Structure-function analysis showed that the punctate localization was mediated by the DEP/DHEX domains, and centrosomal localization was dependent on the DHEX domain.

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