Intrinsic Pleckstrin Homology (PH) domain motion in phospholipase C-β exposes a Gβγ protein binding site

Ganesh Kadamur, Elliott M. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Mammalian phospholipase C-β (PLC-β) isoforms are stimulated by heterotrimeric G protein subunits and members of the Rho GTPase family of small G proteins. Although recent structural studies showed how Gαq and Rac1 bind PLC-β, there is a lack of consensus regarding the Gβγ binding site in PLC-β. Using FRET between cerulean fluorescent protein-labeled Gβγ and the Alexa Fluor 594-labeled PLC-β pleckstrin homology (PH) domain, we demonstrate that the PH domain is the minimal Gβγ binding region in PLC-β3. We show that the isolated PH domain can compete with full-length PLC-β3 for binding Gβγ but not Gαq , Using sequence conservation, structural analyses, and mutagenesis, we identify a hydrophobic face of the PLC-β PH domain as the Gβγ binding interface. This PH domain surface is not solvent-exposed in crystal structures of PLC-β, necessitating conformational rearrangement to allow Gβγ binding. Blocking PH domain motion in PLC-β by crosslinking it to the EF hand domain inhibits stimulation by Gβγ without altering basal activity or Gαq response. The fraction of PLC-β cross-linked is proportional to the fractional loss of Gβγ response. Cross-linked PLC-β does not bind Gβγ in a FRETbased Gβγ-PLC-β binding assay. We propose that unliganded PLC-β exists in equilibrium between a closed conformation observed in crystal structures and an open conformation where the PH domain moves away from the EF hands. Therefore, intrinsic movement of the PH domain in PLC-β modulates Gβγ access to its binding site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11394-11406
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 20 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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