High energy phosphate transfer by NDPK B/Gβγcomplexes – an alternative signaling pathway involved in the regulation of basal cAMP production

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The activation of heterotrimeric G proteins induced by G protein coupled receptors (GPCR) is generally believed to occur by a GDP/GTP exchange at the G protein α-subunit. Nevertheless, nucleoside diphosphate kinase (NDPK) and the β-subunit of G proteins (Gβ) participate in G protein activation by phosphate transfer reactions leading to the formation of GTP from GDP. Recent work elucidated the role of these reactions. Apparently, the NDPK isoform B (NDPK B) forms a complex with Gβγ dimers in which NDPK B acts as a histidine kinase phosphorylating Gβ at His266. Out of this high energetic phosphoamidate bond the phosphate can be transferred specifically onto GDP. The formed GTP binds to the G protein α-subunit and thus activates the respective G protein. Evidence is presented, that this process occurs independent of the classical GPCR-induced GTP/GTP exchange und thus contributes, e.g. to the regulation of basal cAMP synthesis in cells.

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