GTPase Activating Specificity of RGS12 and Binding Specificity of an Alternatively Spliced PDZ (PSD-95/Dlg/ZO-1) Domain*


Regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) proteins increase the intrinsic guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) activity of G-protein α subunits in vitro, but how specific G-protein-coupled receptor systems are targeted for down-regulation by RGS proteins remains uncharacterized. Here, we describe the GTPase specificity of RGS12 and identify four alternatively spliced forms of human RGS12 mRNA. Two RGS12 isoforms of 6.3 and 5.7 kilobases (kb), encoding both an N-terminal PDZ (PSD-95/Dlg/ZO-1) domain and the RGS domain, are expressed in most tissues, with highest levels observed in testis, ovary, spleen, cerebellum, and caudate nucleus. The 5.7-kb isoform has an alternative 3′ end encoding a putative C-terminal PDZ domain docking site. Two smaller isoforms, of 3.1 and 3.7 kb, which lack the PDZ domain and encode the RGS domain with and without the alternative 3′ end, respectively, are most abundantly expressed in brain, kidney, thymus, and prostate. In vitro biochemical assays indicate that RGS12 is a GTPase-activating protein for Gi class α subunits. Biochemical and interaction trap experiments suggest that the RGS12 N terminus acts as a classical PDZ domain, binding selectively to C-terminal (A/S)-T-X-(L/V) motifs as found within both the interleukin-8 receptor B (CXCR2) and the alternative 3′ exon form of RGS12. The presence of an alternatively spliced PDZ domain within RGS12 suggests a mechanism by which RGS proteins may target specific G-protein-coupled receptor systems for desensitization.


  • * This work was supported in part by Amgen, Inc. (to D. P. S.), National Institutes of Health Grants HL16037 (to R. J. L.) and GM34497 (to A. G. G.), and by the Raymond and Ellen Willie Distinguished Chair in Molecular Neuropharmacology (to A. G. G.).The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. The article must therefore be hereby marked “advertisement” in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

    The nucleotide sequence(s) reported in this paper has been submitted to the GenBank™/EMBL Data Bank with accession number(s) AF035151 and AF035152.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed: Quantitative Biology Laboratory, Amgen Institute, 620 University Avenue, Suite 706, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2C1, Canada. Fax: 416–204-2277; E-mail:dsiderov{at}

  • Received February 19, 1998.
  • Revision received April 9, 1998.
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