RGS6 and RGS7 Discriminate between the Highly Similar Gαi and Gαo Proteins Using a Two-Tiered Specificity Strategy.


Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa 3498838, Israel. Electronic address: [Email]


RGS6 and RGS7 are regulators of G protein signaling (RGS) proteins that inactivate heterotrimeric (αβγ) G proteins and mediate diverse biological functions, such as cardiac and neuronal signaling. Uniquely, both RGS6 and RGS7 can discriminate between Gαo and Gαi1-two similar Gα subunits that belong to the same Gi sub-family. Here, we show that the isolated RGS domains of RGS6 and RGS7 are sufficient to achieve this specificity. We identified three specific RGS6/7 "disruptor residues" that can attenuate RGS interactions toward Gα subunits and demonstrated that their insertion into a representative high-activity RGS causes a significant, yet non-specific, reduction in activity. We further identified a unique "modulatory" residue that bypasses this negative effect, specifically toward Gαo. Hence, the exquisite specificity of RGS6 and RGS7 toward closely related Gα subunits is achieved via a two-tier specificity system, whereby a Gα-specific modulatory motif overrides the inhibitory effect of non-specific disruptor residues. Our findings expand the understanding of the molecular toolkit used by the RGS family to achieve specific interactions with selected Gα subunits-emphasizing the functional importance of the RGS domain in determining the activity and selectivity of RGS R7 sub-family members toward particular Gα subunits.


G protein signaling,PPI,RGS proteins,interaction specificity,protein structure,