Chemical cross-linking of the substance P (NK-1) receptor to the alpha subunits of the G proteins Gq and G11

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Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Physiology

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Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


We have previously shown that the high-affinity binding of substance P (SP) to its receptor is dependent on an interaction with a PTX-insensitive G protein. This G protein couples SP receptor activation to stimulation of its effector, phospholipase C. In this study, we combined photoaffinity labeling, chemical cross-linking techniques, and immunological characterization using sequence-specific antibody probes to identify G proteins that couple to the SP receptor. First we covalently labeled the SP receptor present on rat submaxillary gland membranes with a radioiodinated photoreactive derivative of SP, p-benzoyl-L-phenylalanine(8)-substance P (125I-[Bpa8]SP). Photoincorporation of this SP derivative was susceptible to guanine nucleotide inhibition, indicating that the receptor was coupled to its G protein during labeling. We then used a chemical cross-linking agent to covalently link the photoaffinity labeled SP receptor and its associated G protein. Cross-linking generated a 96 kDa product, formation of which was prevented by the addition of a guanine nucleotide, but not an adenine nucleotide, following photolabeling, but prior to cross-linking. Furthermore, the 96 kDa cross-linked complex was absent in membranes which had been depleted of G proteins by treatment with alkaline buffer prior to addition of the cross-linking agent. Reductive cleavage of the cross-link in the isolated 96 kDa complex yields two products: the 53 kDa SP receptor and a 42 kDa protein identified by immunoblot analysis as either G alpha q or G alpha 11. Antisera against a common sequence within G alpha s, G alpha i, and G alpha o showed no immunoreactivity to the complex or its cleavage products. These results provide the first direct evidence of specific interaction between photoaffinity labeled SP receptor and the alpha subunits of Gq and G11, members of a family of G proteins known to be associated with pertussis toxin-insensitive phospholipase C activation.

DOI of Published Version



Biochemistry. 1996 Mar 5;35(9):2909-16. Link to article on publisher's site

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