Reprint of "Crystal packing analysis of Rhodopsin crystals" [J. Struct. Biol. 158 (2007) 455-462]

J Struct Biol. 2007 Aug;159(2):253-60. doi: 10.1016/S1047-8477(07)00166-9.


Oligomerization has been proposed as one of several mechanisms to regulate the activity of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), but little is known about the structure of GPCR oligomers. Crystallographic analyses of two new crystal forms of rhodopsin reveal an interaction surface which may be involved in the formation of functional dimers or oligomers. New crystallization conditions lead to the formation of two crystal forms with similar rhodopsin-rhodopsin interactions, but changes in the crystal lattice are induced by the addition of different surfactant additives. However, the intermolecular interactions between rhodopsin molecules in these crystal structures may reflect the contacts necessary for the maintenance of dimers or oligomers in rod outer segment membranes. Similar contacts may assist in the formation of dimers or oligomers in other GPCRs as well. These new dimers are compared with other models proposed by crystallography or EM and AFM studies. The inter-monomer surface contacts are different for each model, but several of these models coincide in implicating helix I, II, and H-8 as contributors to the main contact surface stabilizing the dimers.