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Bioluminescence resonance energy transfer-based biosensors allow monitoring of ligand- and transducer-mediated GPCR conformational changes.

Picard LP, Schönegge AM, Lohse MJ, Bouvier M

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer, Université de Montreal, Montreal, QC H3C 3J7 Canada.

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are seven-transmembrane proteins that mediate a variety of cellular response which make them a target of choice for drug development in many indications. It is now well established that GPCRs can adopt several distinct conformations that can be differentially stabilized by various ligands resulting in different biological outcomes, a concept known as functional selectivity. However, due to the highly hydrophobic nature of GPCRs, tools to monitor these conformational ensembles are limited and addressing their conformation dynamics remains a challenge with current structural biology approaches. Here we describe new bioluminescent resonance energy transfer-based biosensors that can probe the conformational rearrangement promoted by ligands with different signaling efficacies as well as the impact of transducers such as G proteins and β-arrestin on these conformational transitions. The design of such sensors for other receptors should be useful to further explore the structural determinants of GPCR functional selectivity.

Commun Biol 2018;1:106.

Pubmed ID: 30271986

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