Regulators of G protein signaling (RGS) are a family of GTPase-activating proteins (GAP) that interact with heterotrimeric G proteins in the negative regulation of G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling. RGS4, the first identified mammalian member of the RGS family, has been implicated in many GPCR signaling pathways involved in disease states. We report herein the identification of a 16-amino-acid peptide (P17) as an inhibitor of RGS4. The peptide was found by screening a random peptide library using RGS4 as 'bait' in a yeast two-hybrid system. This peptide inhibited RGS4 GAP activity on Galpha(i1)in a GTPase assay, and blocked the interaction between RGS4 and Galpha(i1)in a pull-down assay. The peptide displayed dose-dependent inhibition of RGS4 and Galpha-interacting protein (GAIP) GAP activities, yet showed no substantial effect on RGS7. Electrophysiological studies in Xenopus oocytes demonstrated that P17 attenuates RGS4 modulation of M(2) muscarinic receptor stimulation of GIRK (G-protein-mediated inwardly rectifying potassium) channels. Deletion of an arginine at the N terminus of P17 abolished its ability to inhibit RGS4 GAP activity, as did deletions of C-terminal residues. The P17 peptide showed no similarity to any known peptide sequence. Further investigation and optimization of the peptide may provide unique information for the development of RGS4 inhibitors for future therapeutic application.
Copyright 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.