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Enhanced membrane binding of oncogenic G protein αqQ209L confers resistance to inhibitor YM-254890

October 2022

"Heterotrimeric G proteins couple activated G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) to intracellular signaling pathways. They can also function independently of GPCR activation upon acquiring mutations that prevent GTPase activity and result in constitutive signaling, as occurs with the αqQ209L mutation in uveal melanoma. YM-254890 (YM) can inhibit signaling by both GPCR-activated wild type αq and GPCR-independent αqQ209L. Although YM inhibits wild type αq by binding to αq-GDP and preventing GDP/GTP exchange, the mechanism of YM inhibition of cellular αqQ209L remains to be fully understood. Here, we show that YM promotes a subcellular redistribution of αqQ209L from the plasma membrane (PM) to the cytoplasm. To test if this loss of PM localization could contribute to the mechanism of inhibition of αqQ209L by YM, we developed and examined N-terminal mutants of αqQ209L, termed PM-restricted αqQ209L, in which the addition of membrane-binding motifs enhanced PM localization and prevented YM-promoted redistribution. Treatment of cells with YM failed to inhibit signaling by these PM-restricted αqQ209L. Additionally, pull-down experiments demonstrated that YM promotes similar conformational changes in both αqQ209L and PM-restricted αqQ209L, resulting in increased binding to βγ and decreased binding to regulator RGS2, and effectors p63RhoGEF-DH/PH and phospholipase C-β. GPCR-dependent signaling by PM-restricted wild type αq is strongly inhibited by YM, demonstrating that resistance to YM inhibition by membrane-binding mutants is specific to constitutively active αqQ209L. Together, these results indicate that changes in membrane binding impact the ability of YM to inhibit αqQ209L and suggest that YM contributes to inhibition of αqQ209L by promoting its relocalization."

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