G(s) regulation of endosome fusion suggests a role for signal transduction pathways in endocytosis

Maria I. Colombo, Luis S. Mayorga, Ikuo Nishimoto, Elliott M. Ross, Philip D. Stahl

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52 Scopus citations


Work from several laboratories indicates that guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (GTP-binding proteins) are required for intracellular vesicular transport. In a previous report we presented evidence indicating that one or more heterotrimeric G proteins regulate fusion between endosomes (Colombo, M. I., Mayorga, L. S., Casey, P. J., and Stahl, P. D. (1992) Science 255, 1695- 1697). We now report on experiments showing that G(s) plays a role in endosome fusion. We have used several reagents known to modulate G(s) function including (i) peptides corresponding to the cytoplasmic domains of G protein-coupled receptors and peptides that mimic interaction of receptors with G proteins, (ii) anti-G protein antibodies, and (iii) cholera toxin. Synthetic peptides corresponding to the third cytoplasmic loop of the β2- adrenergic receptor which putatively interact with G(αs) inhibited endosomal fusion. The inhibitory effect of these peptides was prevented by a short preincubation of endosomes with guanosine-5'-3-O-(thio)triphosphate or by phosphorylating the peptide with cAMP-dependent protein kinase. The involvement of G(s) in endosome recognition and/or the fusion process was assessed by testing an antibody against the COOH terminus of G(αs). Anti- G(αs) IgG completely abolished fusion between endosomes. Lastly, preincubation of endosomal vesicles with cholera toxin abrogated fusion in the presence of NAD, whereas no effect was observed in the absence of the cofactor. Taken together these findings indicate a role for G(s) in either the mechanism or the regulation of fusion among endosomes. These results raise the possibility that signal transduction through cytoplasmic domains of receptors may participate in the regulation of endocytic trafficking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14919-14923
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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