Campus Units

Biomedical Sciences

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

7-18-2012

Journal or Book Title

PLoS ONE

Volume

7

Issue

7

First Page

e40787

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0040787

Abstract

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent the largest known superfamily of membrane proteins extending throughout the Metazoa. There exists ample motivation to elucidate the functional properties of GPCRs given their role in signal transduction and their prominence as drug targets. In many target organisms, these efforts are hampered by the unreliable nature of heterologous receptor expression platforms. We validate and describe an alternative loss-of-function approach for ascertaining the ligand and G protein coupling properties of GPCRs in their native cell membrane environment. Our efforts are focused on the phylum Platyhelminthes, given the heavy health burden exacted by pathogenic flatworms, as well as the role of free-living flatworms as model organisms for the study of developmental biology. RNA interference (RNAi) was used in conjunction with a biochemical endpoint assay to monitor cAMP modulation in response to the translational suppression of individual receptors. As proof of principle, this approach was used to confirm the neuropeptide GYIRFamide as the cognate ligand for the planarian neuropeptide receptor GtNPR-1, while revealing its endogenous coupling to Gαi/o. The method was then extended to deorphanize a novel Gαs-coupled planarian serotonin receptor, DtSER-1. A bioinformatics protocol guided the selection of receptor candidates mediating 5-HT-evoked responses. These results provide functional data on a neurotransmitter central to flatworm biology, while establishing the great potential of an RNAi-based deorphanization protocol. Future work can help optimize and adapt this protocol for higher-throughput platforms as well as other phyla.

Comments

This article is from PLoS ONE 7(7): e40787. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040787. Posted with permission.

Rights

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Copyright Owner

Zamanian et al.

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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