Mutational analysis of G protein α subunit G(o)α expressed in Escherichia coli

Vladlen Z. Slepak, Thomas M. Wilkie, Melvin I. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


G protein-mediated signal transduction is dependent on α subunit interactions with βγ subunits, receptors, effectors, magnesium ions, and guanine nucleotides. The interdependence of these interactions can be probed by mutational analysis. We developed large scale screening procedures in recombinant Escherichia coli to identify and characterize novel mutations in G(o)α. Random mutations were generated by polymerase chain reaction in the amino-terminal 56 amino acids of G(o)α. Guanine nucleotide binding properties of the mutants were assayed in situ and in crude extracts of recombinant E. coli. βγ interactions were assayed by pertussis toxin mediated ADP-ribosylation. Efficacy of the screening procedures was evaluated by studying properties of wild-type G(o)α and site-directed mutations that were characterized previously in other G proteins. Several novel mutants with altered GTP binding characteristics and reduced ability to interact with βγ had been isolated from the randomly generated mutant library. ADP- ribosylation of mutants R10G, K21N, and K35E was significantly reduced, whereas two of the mutants bearing multiple amino acid substitutions were refractory to modification. Mutant K35E also exhibited reduced affinity to guanosine 5'-(3-O-thio)triphosphate at submicromolar concentrations of magnesium. These experiments demonstrate the feasibility of using large scale random mutagenesis in the studies of G protein function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1414-1423
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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