G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) respond to a diverse array of ligands, mediating cellular responses to hormones and neurotransmitters, as well as the senses of smell and taste. The structures of the GPCR rhodopsin and several G proteins have been determined by x-ray crystallography, yet the organization of the signaling complex between GPCRs and G proteins is poorly understood. The observations that some GPCRs are obligate heterodimers, and that many GPCRs form both homo- and heterodimers, has led to speculation that GPCR dinners may be required for efficient activation of G proteins. However, technical limitations have precluded a definitive analysis of G protein coupling to monomeric GPCRs in a biochemically defined and membrane-bound system. Here we demonstrate that a prototypical GPCR, the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR), can be incorporated into a reconstituted high-density lipoprotein (rHDL) phospholipid bilayer particle together with the stimulatory heterotrimeric G protein, Gs. Single-molecule fluorescence imaging and FRET analysis demonstrate that a single β2AR is incorporated per rHDL particle. The monomeric β2AR efficiently activates Gs and displays GTP-sensitive allosteric ligand-binding properties. These data suggest that a monomeric receptor in a lipid bilayer is the minimal functional unit necessary for signaling, and that the cooperativity of agonist binding is due to G protein association with a receptor monomer and not receptor oligomerization.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - May 1 2007|
- Single-molecule spectroscopy
- β2-adrenergic receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas