Disruption of the a5 helix of transducin impairs rhodopsin-catalyzed nucleotide exchange

Marin, E.P.; Krishna, A.Gopala; Sakmar, T.P.

Biochemistry (American Chemical Society) 41(22): 88-94


Accession: 009820243

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Photoactivated rhodopsin (R) catalyzes nucleotide exchange by transducin, the heterotrimeric G protein of the rod cell. Recently, we showed that certain alanine replacement mutants of the alpha5 helix of the alpha subunit of transducin (Galpha(t)) displayed very rapid nucleotide exchange rates even in the absence of R* [Marin, E. P., Krishna, A. G., and Sakmar, T. P. (2001) J. Biol. Chem. 276, 27400-27405]. We suggested that R* catalyzes nucleotide exchange by perturbing residues on the alpha5 helix. Here, we characterize deletion, insertion, and proline replacement mutants of amino acid residues in alpha5. In general, the proline mutants exhibited rates of uncatalyzed nucleotide exchange that were 4-8-fold greater than wild type. The proline mutants also generally displayed decreased rates of R*-catalyzed activation. The degree of reduction of the activation rate correlated with the position of the residue replaced with proline. Mutants with replacement of residues at the amino terminus of alpha5 exhibited mild (<2-fold) decreases, whereas mutants with replacement of residues at the carboxyl terminus of alpha5 were completely resistant to R-catalyzed activation. In addition, insertion of a single helical turn in the form of four alanine residues following Ile339 at the carboxyl terminus of alpha5 prevented R*-catalyzed activation. Together, the results provide evidence that alpha5 serves an important function in mediating R*-catalyzed nucleotide exchange. In particular, the data suggest the importance of the connection between the alpha5 helix and the adjacent carboxyl-terminal region of Galpha(t). Copyright 2002, American Chemical Society.