Functional comparison of RGS9 splice isoforms in a living cell

Kirill A. Martemyanov, Claudia M. Krispel, Polina V. Lishko, Marie E. Burns, Vadim Y. Arshavsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Two isoforms of the GTPase-activating protein, regulator of G protein signaling 9 (RGS9), control such fundamental functions as vision and behavior. RGS9-1 regulates phototransduction in rods and cones, and RGS9-2 regulates dopamine and opioid signaling in the basal ganglia. To determine their functional differences in the same intact cell, we replaced RGS9-1 with RGS9-2 in mouse rods. Surprisingly, RGS9-2 not only supported normal photoresponse recovery under moderate light conditions but also outperformed RGS9-1 in bright light. This versatility of RGS9-2 results from its ability to inactivate the G protein, transducin, regardless of its effector interactions, whereas RGS9-1 prefers the G protein-effector complex. Such versatility makes RGS9-2 an isoform advantageous for timely signal inactivation across a wide range of stimulus strengths and may explain its predominant representation throughout the nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20988-20993
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number52
StatePublished - Dec 30 2008


  • G proteins
  • Phototransduction
  • RGS proteins


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