Role of structural dynamics at the receptor G protein interface for signal transduction

Alexander S. Rose, Ulrich Zachariae, Helmut Grubmüller, Klaus Peter Hofmann, Patrick Scheerer, Peter W. Hildebrand (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

GPCRs catalyze GDP/GTP exchange in the α-subunit of heterotrimeric G proteins (Gαßγ) through displacement of the Gα C-terminal α5 helix, which directly connects the interface of the active receptor (R*) to the nucleotide binding pocket of G. Hydrogen–deuterium exchange mass spectrometry and kinetic analysis of R* catalysed G protein activation have suggested that displacement of α5 starts from an intermediate GDP bound complex (R*•GGDP). To elucidate the structural basis of receptor-catalysed displacement of α5, we modelled the structure of R*•GGDP. A flexible docking protocol yielded an intermediate R*•GGDP complex, with a similar overall arrangement as in the X-ray structure of the nucleotide free complex (R*•Gempty), however with the α5 C-terminus (GαCT) forming different polar contacts with R*. Starting molecular dynamics simulations of GαCT bound to R* in the intermediate position, we observe a screw-like motion, which restores the specific interactions of α5 with R* in R*•Gempty. The observed rotation of α5 by 60° is in line with experimental data. Reformation of hydrogen bonds, water expulsion and formation of hydrophobic interactions are driving forces of the α5 displacement. We conclude that the identified interactions between R* and G protein define a structural framework in which the α5 displacement promotes direct transmission of the signal from R* to the GDP binding pocket.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0143399
Number of pages13
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume10
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2015

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