Local membrane charge regulates β2 adrenergic receptor coupling to Gi3

Nat Commun. 2019 May 20;10(1):2234. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-10108-0.


The β2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR) signals through both Gs and Gi in cardiac myocytes, and the Gi pathway counteracts the Gs pathway. However, Gi coupling is much less efficient than Gs coupling in most cell-based and biochemical assays, making it difficult to study β2AR-Gi interactions. Here we investigate the role of phospholipid composition on Gs and Gi coupling. While negatively charged phospholipids are known to enhance agonist affinity and stabilize an active state of the β2AR, we find that they impair coupling to Gi3 and facilitate coupling to Gs. Positively charged Ca2+ and Mg2+, known to interact with the negative charge on phospholipids, facilitates Gi3 coupling. Mutational analysis suggests that Ca2+ coordinates an interaction between phospholipid and the negatively charged EDGE motif on the amino terminal helix of Gi3. Taken together, our observations suggest that local membrane charge modulates the interaction between β2AR and competing G protein subtypes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Animals
  • Cations / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gi-Go / chemistry
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gi-Go / isolation & purification
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gi-Go / metabolism*
  • Membrane Lipids / chemistry
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • Phospholipids / chemistry
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta-2 / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Sf9 Cells
  • Spodoptera
  • Static Electricity


  • Cations
  • Membrane Lipids
  • Phospholipids
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta-2
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gi-Go