Selective expression of regulators of G-protein signaling (RGS) in the human central nervous system

Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2004 Mar 17;122(1):24-34. doi: 10.1016/j.molbrainres.2003.11.014.


The human tissue distribution of the nineteen known human regulators of G-protein signaling (RGS) is described. Measurement of RGS mRNA levels in human brain and in nine peripheral tissues revealed striking tissue preferences in gene expression. Five RGS members were identified with enriched expression in brain. RGS4, RGS7, RGS8, RGS11 and RGS17 were all significantly expressed in striatal regions including the nucleus accumbens and putamen. RGS4 had the highest measured levels of mRNA expression and was highly enriched in the gyrus of the cortex and in the parahippocampus. RGS7 and RGS17 had overlapping distribution profiles and were both noticeably enriched in the cerebellum. Several RGS family members showed high expression in peripheral tissues. RGS5 was preferentially expressed in heart, and RGS1, RGS13, RGS18 and GAIP were predominately expressed in lymphocytes. RGS1 was also highly enriched in the lung, as was RGS2 and RGS16. Five family members, RGS3, RGS9, RGS10, RGS 12 and RGS14 had a broad and overlapping mRNA distribution. These results suggest roles of the individual RGS members in a diversity of functions in humans and support a role of several RGS members in the regulation of central nervous system function via modulation of signaling by G-protein coupled receptors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Central Nervous System / anatomy & histology
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • RGS Proteins / classification
  • RGS Proteins / genetics
  • RGS Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods


  • RGS Proteins
  • RGS17 protein, human
  • RNA, Messenger