Unstructured regions in functional proteins have gained attention in recent years due to advancements in informatics tools and biophysical methods. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), a large family of cell surface receptors, contain unstructured regions in the form of the i3 loop and C-terminus. This review provides an overview of the functional significance of these regions in GPCRs. GPCRs transmit signals from the extracellular environment to the cell interior, regulating various physiological processes. The i3 loop, located between the fifth and sixth transmembrane helices, and the C-terminus, connected to the seventh transmembrane helix, are determinant of interactions with G proteins and with other intracellular partners such as arrestins. Recent studies demonstrate that the i3 loop and C-terminus play critical roles in allosterically regulating GPCR activation. They can act as autoregulators, adopting conformations that, by restricting G protein access, modulate receptor coupling specificity. The length and unstructured nature of the i3 loop and C-terminus provide unique advantages in GPCR interactions with intracellular protein partners. They act as "fishing lines", expanding the radius of interaction and enabling GPCRs to tether scaffolding proteins, thus facilitating receptor stability during cell membrane movements. Additionally, the i3 loop may be involved in domain swapping between GPCRs, generating novel receptor dimers with distinct binding and coupling characteristics. Overall, the i3 loop and C-terminus are now widely recognized as crucial elements in GPCR function and regulation. Understanding their functional roles enhances our comprehension of GPCR structure and signaling complexity and holds promise for advancements in receptor pharmacology and drug development.

Unraveling the Functional Significance of Unstructured Regions in G Protein-Coupled Receptors

Maggio, Roberto;Fasciani, Irene;Petragnano, Francesco;Coppolino, Maria Francesca;Rossi, Mario
2023-01-01

Abstract

Unstructured regions in functional proteins have gained attention in recent years due to advancements in informatics tools and biophysical methods. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), a large family of cell surface receptors, contain unstructured regions in the form of the i3 loop and C-terminus. This review provides an overview of the functional significance of these regions in GPCRs. GPCRs transmit signals from the extracellular environment to the cell interior, regulating various physiological processes. The i3 loop, located between the fifth and sixth transmembrane helices, and the C-terminus, connected to the seventh transmembrane helix, are determinant of interactions with G proteins and with other intracellular partners such as arrestins. Recent studies demonstrate that the i3 loop and C-terminus play critical roles in allosterically regulating GPCR activation. They can act as autoregulators, adopting conformations that, by restricting G protein access, modulate receptor coupling specificity. The length and unstructured nature of the i3 loop and C-terminus provide unique advantages in GPCR interactions with intracellular protein partners. They act as "fishing lines", expanding the radius of interaction and enabling GPCRs to tether scaffolding proteins, thus facilitating receptor stability during cell membrane movements. Additionally, the i3 loop may be involved in domain swapping between GPCRs, generating novel receptor dimers with distinct binding and coupling characteristics. Overall, the i3 loop and C-terminus are now widely recognized as crucial elements in GPCR function and regulation. Understanding their functional roles enhances our comprehension of GPCR structure and signaling complexity and holds promise for advancements in receptor pharmacology and drug development.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/220846
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