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Structure of cell signaling molecule suggests general on-off switch
Date:4/21/2013

esearchers were able to isolate and capture the beta-arrestin1 protein in an active state as it binds to a segment of the GPCR a first. That snapshot, in high resolution, revealed that the structural conformation or shape of the protein in its active state is strikingly different than when it is inactive.

Such changes suggest there may be a general molecular mechanism that activates the beta-arrestin1 a sort of main switch that controls the multi-functional signaling proteins.

"It's like there are brakes on in beta-arrestin1, and then when the beta-arrestin1 binds to a GPCR, the brakes are released, thereby activating beta-arrestin1," said Arun K. Shukla, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Duke and co-lead author of the study.

The researchers are now pursuing additional structural imaging of the signaling complex consisting of beta-arrestin1 and the entire receptor protein.


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Contact: Sarah Avery
sarah.avery@duke.edu
919-660-1306
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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