One of the largest membrane protein families in eukaryotes are G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). GPCRs modulate cell physiology by activating diverse intracellular transducers, prominently heterotrimeric G proteins. The recent surge in structural data has expanded our understanding of GPCR-mediated signal transduction. However, many aspects, including the existence of transient interactions, remain elusive. We present the cryo-EM structure of the light-sensitive GPCR rhodopsin in complex with heterotrimeric Gi. Our density map reveals the receptor C-terminal tail bound to the Gβ subunit of the G protein, providing a structural foundation for the role of the C-terminal tail in GPCR signaling, and of Gβ as scaffold for recruiting Gα subunits and G protein-receptor kinases. By comparing available complexes, we found a small set of common anchoring points that are G protein-subtype specific. Taken together, our structure and analysis provide new structural basis for the molecular events of the GPCR signaling pathway.
Keywords: Bos taurus; G protein-coupled receptors; G proteins; Gβ subunit; biochemistry; cellular signaling; chemical biology; cryo-EM; human; molecular biophysics; mouse; structural biology.
© 2019, Tsai et al.