Research Article

Noncanonical scaffolding of Gαi and β-arrestin by G protein–coupled receptors

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Science  21 Feb 2021:
eaay1833
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay1833

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Abstract

Heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding protein (G protein)-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are common drug targets and canonically couple to specific Gα protein subtypes and β-arrestin adaptor proteins. G protein- and β-arrestin-mediated signaling have been considered separable. We show GPCRs promote a direct interaction between Gαi protein subtype family members and β-arrestins, regardless of their canonical Gαi protein subtype coupling. Gαi:β-arrestin complexes bound extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and their disruption impaired both ERK activation and cell migration, consistent with β-arrestins requiring a functional interaction with Gαi for certain signaling events. These results introduce a GPCR signaling mechanism distinct from canonical G protein activation in which GPCRs cause the formation of Gαi:β-arrestin signaling complexes.

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