Genetics, Development and Cell Biology
Journal or Book Title
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) play central roles in mediating cellular responses to environmental signals leading to changes in cell physiology and behaviors, including cell migration. Numerous clinical pathologies including metastasis, an invasive form of cell migration, have been linked to abnormal GPCR signaling. While the structures of some GPCRs have been defined, the in vivo roles of conserved amino acid residues and their relationships to receptor function are not fully understood. Trapped in endoderm 1 (Tre1) is an orphan receptor of the rhodopsin class that is necessary for primordial germ cell migration in Drosophila melanogaster embryos. In this study, we employ molecular genetic approaches to identify residues in Tre1 that are critical to its functions in germ cell migration.
First, we show that the previously reported scattershot mutation is an allele of tre1. The scattershot allele results in an in-frame deletion of 8 amino acids at the junction of the third transmembrane domain and the second intracellular loop of Tre1 that dramatically impairs the function of this GPCR in germ cell migration. To further refine the molecular basis for this phenotype, we assayed the effects of single amino acid substitutions in transgenic animals and determined that the arginine within the evolutionarily conserved E/N/DRY motif is critical for receptor function in mediating germ cell migration within an intact developing embryo.
These structure-function studies of GPCR signaling in native contexts will inform future studies into the basic biology of this large and clinically important family of receptors.
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Kamps, Angela Renee; Pruitt, Margaret M.; Herriges, John C.; and Coffman, Clark R., "An Evolutionarily Conserved Arginine Is Essential for Tre1 G Protein-Coupled Receptor Function During Germ Cell Migration in Drosophila melanogaster" (2010). Genetics, Development and Cell Biology Publications. 179.