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Conformational changes enable the photoreceptor rhodopsin to couple with and activate the G-protein transducin. Here we demonstrate a key interaction between these proteins occurs between the C terminus of the transducin alpha-subunit (G(Talpha)) and a hydrophobic cleft in the rhodopsin cytoplasmic face exposed during receptor activation. We mapped this(More)
We report an effort to engineer a functional, maximally blue-wavelength-shifted version of rhodopsin. Toward this goal, we first constructed and assayed a number of previously described mutations in the retinal binding pocket of rhodopsin, G90S, E122D, A292S, and A295S. Of these mutants, we found that only mutants E122D and A292S were like the wild type(More)
The rhodopsin crystal structure reveals that intradiscal loop E-2 covers the 11-cis-retinal, creating a "retinal plug." Recently, we noticed the ends of loop E-2 are linked by an ion pair between residues Arg-177 and Asp-190, near the highly conserved disulfide bond. This ion pair appears biologically significant; it is conserved in almost all vertebrate(More)
The p21-activated kinases (PAKs) are important effector proteins of the small GTPases Cdc42 and Rac and control cytoskeletal rearrangements and cell proliferation. The direct interaction of PAKs with guanine nucleotide exchange factors from the PIX/Cool family, which is responsible for the localization of PAK kinases to focal complexes in the cell, is(More)
At the 2nd Pepducin Science Symposium held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on November 4-5, 2010, investigators working in G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) research convened to discuss progress since last year's inaugural conference. This year's symposium focused on increasing knowledge of the structure and function of this ubiquitous superfamily of membrane(More)
The β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) is a prototypical G protein-coupled receptor that mediates many hormonal responses, including cardiovascular and pulmonary function. β-Agonists used to combat hypercontractility in airway smooth muscle stimulate β2AR-dependent cAMP production that ultimately promotes airway relaxation. Chronic stimulation of the β2AR by(More)
Short lipidated peptide sequences derived from various intracellular loop regions of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are named pepducins and act as allosteric modulators of a number of GPCRs. Recently, a pepducin selectively targeting the C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) was found to be an allosteric agonist, active in both cell-based assays and(More)
The G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), chemokine CXC-type receptor 4 (CXCR4), and its ligand, CXCL12, mediate the retention of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) and hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) in the bone marrow. Agents that disrupt CXCL12-mediated chemoattraction of CXCR4-expressing cells mobilize PMNs and HSPCs into the peripheral(More)
Little is known about the molecular mechanism of Schiff base hydrolysis in rhodopsin. We report here our investigation into this process focusing on the role of amino acids involved in a hydrogen bond network around the retinal Schiff base. We find conservative mutations in this network (T94I, E113Q, S186A, E181Q, Y192F, and Y268F) increase the activation(More)