A Gβγ effector, ElmoE, transduces GPCR signaling to the actin network during chemotaxis

Dev Cell. 2012 Jan 17;22(1):92-103. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.11.007.


Activation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) leads to the dissociation of heterotrimeric G-proteins into Gα and Gβγ subunits, which go on to regulate various effectors involved in a panoply of cellular responses. During chemotaxis, Gβγ subunits regulate actin assembly and migration, but the protein(s) linking Gβγ to the actin cytoskeleton remains unknown. Here, we identified a Gβγ effector, ElmoE in Dictyostelium, and demonstrated that it is required for GPCR-mediated chemotaxis. Remarkably, ElmoE associates with Gβγ and Dock-like proteins to activate the small GTPase Rac, in a GPCR-dependent manner, and also associates with Arp2/3 complex and F-actin. Thus, ElmoE serves as a link between chemoattractant GPCRs, G-proteins and the actin cytoskeleton. The pathway, consisting of GPCR, Gβγ, Elmo/Dock, Rac, and Arp2/3, spatially guides the growth of dendritic actin networks in pseudopods of eukaryotic cells during chemotaxis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Actin-Related Protein 2-3 Complex / metabolism*
  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Chemotactic Factors
  • Chemotaxis / physiology*
  • Cross-Linking Reagents / pharmacology
  • Cyclic AMP / pharmacology
  • Dictyostelium / physiology*
  • Heterotrimeric GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Transport
  • Proteomics
  • Receptors, Cyclic AMP / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • Actin-Related Protein 2-3 Complex
  • Actins
  • Chemotactic Factors
  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Receptors, Cyclic AMP
  • cyclic AMP receptor cAR1
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Heterotrimeric GTP-Binding Proteins
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins