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Cryo-EM structure of the rhodopsin-Gαi-βγ complex reveals binding of the rhodopsin C-terminal tail to the Gβ subunit
Ricardo J Adaixo,
Nicholas MI Taylor,
Roger JP Dawson,
Gebhard FX Schertler
Posted 12 Feb 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/547919 (published DOI: 10.7554/eLife.46041)
Posted 12 Feb 2019
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest class of integral membrane proteins and represent key targets for pharmacological research. GPCRs modulate cell physiology by engaging and activating a diversity of intracellular transducers, prominently heterotrimeric G proteins, but also G protein-receptor kinases (GRKs) and arrestins. The recent surge in the number of structures of GPCR-G protein complexes has expanded our understanding of G protein recognition and GPCR-mediated signal transduction. However, many aspects of these mechanisms, including the existence of transient interactions with transducers, have remained elusive. Here, we present the cryo-EM structure of the light-sensitive GPCR rhodopsin in complex with heterotrimeric Gi. In contrast to all reported structures, our density map reveals the receptor C-terminal tail bound to the Gβ subunit of the G protein heterotrimer. This observation provides a structural foundation for the role of the C-terminal tail in GPCR signaling, and of Gβ as scaffold for recruiting Gα subunits and GRKs. By comparing all available complex structures, we found a small set of common anchoring points that are G protein-subtype specific. Taken together, our structure and analysis provide new structural basis for the molecular events of the GPCR signaling pathway.
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