Analysis of the molecular interaction of the farnesyl moiety of transducin through the use of a photoreactive farnesyl analogue.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Farnesylation of the gamma-subunit of the retinal G-protein, transducin (Talpha/Tbetagamma), is indispensable for light-initiated signaling in photoreceptor cells. However, the farnesyl-mediated molecular interactions important for signaling are not well understood. To explore this issue, we created a functional Tbetagamma analogue in which the farnesyl group was replaced with a (3-azidophenoxy)geranyl (POG) group, a novel farnesyl analogue with a distal photoreactive azido group. In the presence of lipid membranes and/or Talpha-GDP, UV irradiation of POG-modified Tbetagamma (POG-Tbetagamma) invariably yielded a cross-linked product Tgamma-Tbeta, reflecting a constitutive interaction of the Tgamma C-terminal lipid with Tbeta. In addition to the Tgamma-Tbeta adduct, a Tgamma-Talpha cross-link was detected in the aqueous fraction. Reconstitution of POG-Tbetagamma with Talpha and light-activated rhodopsin (Rh) in photoreceptor membranes resulted in cross-linking of Tgamma with a glycerophospholipid, indicating molecular interaction of the farnesyl group with cellular membranes. The Tgamma-phospholipid cross-link was observed only in the presence of both Talpha-GDP and Rh, and was abolished by the addition of GTPgammaS or by replacing Rh with opsin. These findings suggest a transient farnesyl-membrane interaction occurs only in a signaling state formed in a transducin-Rh ternary complex. On the other hand, UV irradiation of POG-Tbetagamma in a soluble complex with phosducin, a negative regulator of G-protein, yielded a Tgamma-phosducin adduct in addition to the Tgamma-Tbeta cross-link. These results illustrate that, rather than being a static membrane anchor, the farnesyl moiety plays an active role in the dynamics of protein-protein and protein-membrane interactions at defined steps in the signal transduction process.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hagiwara, K; Wada, A; Katadae, M; Ito, M; Ohya, Y; Casey, PJ; Fukada, Y

Published Date

  • January 20, 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 43 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 300 - 309

PubMed ID

  • 14717583

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-2960

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/bi0351514


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States