Membrane anchoring subunits specify selective regulation of RGS9·Gβ5 GAP complex in photoreceptor neurons

Yan Cao, Alexander V. Kolesnikov, Ikuo Masuho, Vladimir J. Kefalov, Kirill A. Martemyanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The RGS9·Gβ5 complex is the key regulator of neuronal G-protein signaling and shows remarkable selectivity of subunit composition. In retinal photoreceptors, RGS9·Gβ5 is bound to the membrane anchor R9AP and the complex regulates visual signaling. In the basal ganglia neurons, RGS9·Gβ5 is instead associated with a homologous protein, R7BP, and regulates reward circuit. Switching this selective subunit composition of the complex in rod photoreceptors allowed us to study the molecular underpinning of signaling specificity in diverse G-protein pathways. We have found that both membrane anchoring subunits play a conserved role in regulating protein levels of RGS9·Gβ5 and enhancing the ability of RGS·Gβ5 complexes to stimulate GTPase activity ofGproteins. However, notable differences exist in the subcellular targeting of alternatively configured complexes. Unlike R9AP, which relies on passive targeting mechanisms for the delivery to the outer segments of the photoreceptors, R7BP is excluded from this location and is instead specifically targeted to the plasma membrane. R7BP-containing complexes could be rerouted to the outer segments, where they are capable of regulating the phototransduction cascade by the active targeting signals derived from rhodopsin. These findings illustrate the diversity of the G-protein signaling regulation by RGS·Gβ5 complexes achieved by differential recruitment of the membrane anchors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13784-13793
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number41
StatePublished - Oct 13 2010


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