Dominant negative g proteins enhance formation and purification of agonist-gpcr-g protein complexes for structure determination

Yi-Lynn Liang, Peishen Zhao, Christopher James Draper-Joyce, Jo-Anne Baltos, Alisa Glukhova, Tin Trong Truong, Lauren T May, Arthur Christopoulos, Denise Wootten, Patrick Sexton, Sebastian Furness

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Advances in structural biology have yielded exponential growth in G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) structure solution. Nonetheless, the instability of fully active GPCR complexes with cognate heterotrimeric G proteins has made them elusive. Existing structures have been limited to nanobody-stabilized GPCR:Gs complexes. Here we present methods for enhanced GPCR:G protein complex stabilization via engineering G proteins with reduced nucleotide affinity, limiting Gα:Gβγdissociation. We illustrate the application of dominant negative G proteins of Gαs and Gαi2 to the purification of stable complexes where this was not possible with wild-type G protein. Active state complexes of adenosine:A1 receptor:Gαi2βγand calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP):CLR:RAMP1:Gαsβγ:Nb35 were purified to homogeneity and were stable in negative stain electron microscopy. These were suitable for structure determination by cryo-electron microscopy at 3.6 and 3.3 Å resolution, respectively. The dominant negative Gα-proteins are thus high value tools for structure determination of agonist:GPCR:G protein complexes that are critical for informed translational drug discovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-20
Number of pages9
JournalACS Pharmacology & Translational Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2018

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