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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 4, Issue 5, Pages 479-491
Primary Research Paper

Proteins Interacting with Caenorhabditis elegans Gα Subunits

1Hubrecht Laboratory, Uppsalalaan 8, Utrecht 3584 CT, The Netherlands
2MGC Department of Cell Biology and Genetics and Centre for Biomedical Genetics, Erasmus Medical Centre, PO Box 1738, Rotterdam 3000 DR, The Netherlands

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To identify novel components in heterotrimeric G-protein signalling, we performed an extensive screen for proteins interacting with Caenorhabditis elegans Gα subunits. The genome of C. elegans contains homologues of each of the four mammalian classes of Gα subunits (Gs, Gi/o, Gq and G12), and 17 other Gα subunits. We tested 19 of the GGα subunits and four constitutively activated Gα subunits in a largescale yeast two-hybrid experiment. This resulted in the identification of 24 clones, representing 11 different proteins that interact with four different Gα subunits. This set includes C. elegans orthologues of known interactors of Gα subunits, such as AGS3 (LGN/PINS), CalNuc and Rap1Gap, but also novel proteins, including two members of the nuclear receptor super family and a homologue of human haspin (germ cell-specific kinase). All interactions were found to be unique for a specific Gα subunit but variable for the activation status of the Gα subunit. We used expression pattern and RNA interference analysis of the G-protein interactors in an attempt to substantiate the biological relevance of the observed interactions. Furthermore, by means of a membrane recruitment assay, we found evidence that GPA-7 and the nuclear receptor NHR-22 can interact in the animal.