Evidence for a short form of RGS3 preferentially expressed in the human heart

Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2001 Apr;363(4):456-63. doi: 10.1007/s002100000376.


RGS proteins (regulators of G protein signalling) negatively regulate G protein function as GTPase-activating proteins (GAP) for G protein alpha-subunits. The existence of mRNAs of different size for some of the RGS proteins, e.g. RGS3, suggests that these proteins may exist in isoforms due to alternative splicing. We therefore investigated RGS3 mRNA and protein expression in different human tissues. Ribonuclease protection assays and Northern blot analysis showed two specific mRNAs for RGS3 (RGS3L, RGS3S) in human myocardium, suggesting an additional, N-terminally truncated form of approximately 168 aa. When expressed as a recombinant protein RGS3S was recognized at approximately 23 kDa by an antipeptide antiserum originally raised against an RGS2 sequence. In membranes of human tissues this antiserum detected specific signals for RGS3L (approximately 70 kDa), RGS2 (approximately 30 kDa) and a 25-kDa protein, most likely RGS3S. Both RGS3S mRNA and the 25 kDa protein were abundant in human heart, whereas expression in liver, brain and myometrium was much weaker. To characterize RGS3S functionally, single turnover GTPase, adenylyl cyclase (AC) and phospholipase C (PLC) activities were determined. Both recombinant RGS3S and RGS16 increased Pi release from Galphai1 by about 150% and increased GTP- and GTP plus isoprenaline-stimulated AC activity by 20-30% in human left ventricular myocardial membranes. Additionally, both RGS proteins reduced basal and endothelin-stimulated PLC activity in these membranes by about 40%. We conclude that an additional truncated form of RGS3 is expressed in the human heart. As described for the full-length protein, RGS3S negatively regulates the activity of Gi/o- and Gq-, but not Gs-subfamily members.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / metabolism*
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins*
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RGS Proteins / genetics
  • RGS Proteins / physiology*


  • GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RGS Proteins
  • RGS3 protein, human
  • Rgs3 protein, mouse
  • GTP-Binding Proteins