Despite many recent studies of G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) structures, it is not yet well understood how these receptors activate G proteins. The GPCR assay using baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is an effective experimental model for the characterization of GPCR-Gα interactions. Here, using the yeast endogenous Gα protein (Gpa1p) as template, we constructed various chimeric Gα proteins with a region that is considered to be necessary for interaction with mammalian receptors. The signaling assay using the yeast pheromone receptor revealed that the chimeric Gα protein harboring 37 gustducin-specific amino acid residues at its C-terminus (GPA1/gust37) maintained functionality in yeast. In contrast, GPA1/gust44, a variant routinely used in mammalian experimental systems, was not functional.
2012 by Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry