High basal expression and injury-induced down regulation of two regulator of G-protein signaling transcripts, RGS3 and RGS4 in primary sensory neurons

Mol Cell Neurosci. 2003 Sep;24(1):106-16. doi: 10.1016/s1044-7431(03)00135-0.


The regulators of G-protein signaling (RGS) proteins are a family of intracellular modulators of G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) sensitivity. They act as GTPase accelerating proteins returning the Galpha subunit back to an inactive latent state. We find that RGS3 and RGS4 are constitutively expressed at high levels in C-fiber primary sensory neurons in the adult rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and transection of the sciatic nerve results in a substantial down regulation of these transcripts. RGS4 mRNA is expressed only in GDNF-responsive neurons and GDNF supports the expression of this transcript in primary DRG cultures. A PDZ domain containing subtype of RGS3 is the most abundant and regulated form of this protein within the DRG. Decreased levels of RGS3 and RGS4 in injured sensory neurons is likely to result in an increased GPCR sensitivity, and therefore contribute to alterations in cellular function seen after such lesions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axotomy
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Down-Regulation / physiology
  • GTP-Binding Proteins*
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins*
  • Ganglia, Spinal / cytology
  • Ganglia, Spinal / metabolism
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Male
  • Nerve Fibers, Unmyelinated / metabolism
  • Nerve Fibers, Unmyelinated / ultrastructure
  • Nerve Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Nerve Growth Factors / pharmacology
  • Neurons, Afferent / cytology
  • Neurons, Afferent / metabolism*
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries*
  • Peripheral Nerves / metabolism
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiopathology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / physiology
  • RGS Proteins / genetics
  • RGS Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Repressor Proteins*
  • Sciatic Neuropathy / metabolism*
  • Sciatic Neuropathy / physiopathology


  • GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • Gdnf protein, rat
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • RGS Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Rgs3 protein, mouse
  • Rgs3 protein, rat
  • RGS4 protein
  • GTP-Binding Proteins