Editors' ChoiceG PROTEINS

Endosomal PI3K, Effector and Gβ-Like Partner for Gα

Science's STKE  18 Jul 2006:
Vol. 2006, Issue 344, pp. tw234
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3442006tw234

Mating pheromone signaling in yeast requires the G protein βγ subunits; however, constitutively active Gα (Gpa1Q323L) stimulates many of the mating responses. Using a screen of yeast deletion mutants, Slessareva et al. found that the catalytic and regulatory subunits of class III phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), Vps34 and Vps15, respectively, were required to mediate mating responses triggered by Gpa1Q323L. Responses to mating pheromone were diminished, but not eliminated, in yeast deficient for either subunit of PI3K. Both Gpa1Q323L and PI3K were localized to endosomes, whereas wild-type Gpa1 was predominantly at the plasma membrane. Gpa1 interacted directly with both subunits of PI3K (based on copurification experiments with purified proteins or proteins expressed in yeast cells). Activated Gpa1 exhibited enhanced binding to the catalytic subunit of PI3K, and the regulatory subunit of PI3K interacted with inactive Gpa1. The catalytic subunit of PI3K was a true Gα effector, because cells expressing the Gpa1Q323L exhibited increased production of phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate. Modeling of the regulatory subunit Vps15 suggests that it has a seven-bladed propeller structure similar to that of Gβ subunits. The authors suggest that PI3K serves as both effector and β subunit for the endosomally localized Gα. Questions remain regarding how Gα becomes activated and localized at endosomes and what role PI3K plays in pheromone signaling. However, these results broaden the roles for G proteins to signaling from internal membranes and suggest a novel regulatory mechanism, with Gα cycling between active and inactive through its interactions with the effector and β subunit of PI3K (see Koelle for discussion).

J. E. Slessareva, S. M. Routt, B. Temple, V. A. Bankaitis, H. G. Dohlman, Activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase Vps34 by a G protein α subunit at the endosome. Cell 126, 191-203 (2006). [Online Journal]

M. R. Koelle, Heterotrimeric G protein signaling: Getting inside the cell. Cell 126, 25-27 (2006). [Online Journal]