Conformational biosensors reveal allosteric interactions between heterodimeric AT1 angiotensin and prostaglandin F2α receptors

Rory Sleno, Dominic Devost, Darlaine Pétrin, Alice Zhang, Kyla Bourque, Yuji Shinjo, Junken Aoki, Asuka Inoue, Terence E. Hébert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are conformationally dynamic proteins transmitting ligand-encoded signals in multiple ways. This transmission is highly complex and achieved through induction of distinct GPCR conformations, which preferentially drive specific receptor-mediated signaling events. This conformational capacity can be further enlarged via allosteric effects between dimers, warranting further study of these effects. Using GPCR conformation-sensitive biosensors, we investigated allosterically induced conformational changes in the recently reported F prostanoid (FP)/angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) heterodimer. Ligand occupancy of the AT1R induced distinct conformational changes in FP compared with those driven by PGF2α in bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET)-based FP biosensors engineered with Renilla luciferase (RLuc) as an energy donor in the C-tail and fluorescein arsenical hairpin binder (FlAsH)-labeled acceptors at different positions in the intracellular loops. We also found that this allosteric communication is mediated through Gαq and may also involve proximal (phospholipase C) but not distal (protein kinase C) signaling partners. Interestingly, β-arrestin-biased AT1R agonists could also transmit a Gαq-dependent signal to FP without activation of downstream Gαq signaling. This transmission of information was specific to the AT1R/FP complex, as activation of Gαq by the oxytocin receptor did not recapitulate the same phenomenon. Finally, information flow was asymmetric in the sense that FP activation had negligible effects on AT1R-based conformational biosensors. The identification of partner-induced GPCR conformations may help identify novel allosteric effects when investigating multiprotein receptor signaling complexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12139-12152
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 21


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