Research Articles

A Gα12-specific Binding Domain in AKAP-Lbc and p114RhoGEF



AKAP-Lbc is a Rho-activating guanine nucleotide exchange factor (RhoGEF) important in heart development and pro-fibrotic signaling in cardiomyocytes. Heterotrimeric G proteins of the G12/13 subfamily, comprising Gα12 and Gα13, are well characterized as stimulating a specialized group of RhoGEFs through interaction with their RGS-homology (RH) domain. Despite lacking an RH domain, AKAP-Lbc is bound by Gα12 through an unknown mechanism to activate Rho signaling. We identified a Gα12-binding region near the C-terminus of AKAP-Lbc, closely homologous to a region of p114RhoGEF that we also discovered to interact with Gα12. This binding mechanism is distinct from the well-studied interface between RH-RhoGEFs and G12/13 α subunits, as demonstrated by Gα12 mutants selectively impaired in binding either this AKAP-Lbc/p114RhoGEF region or RH-RhoGEFs. AKAP-Lbc and p114RhoGEF showed high specificity for binding Gα12 in comparison to Gα13, and experiments using chimeric G12/13 a subunits mapped determinants of this selectivity to the N-terminal region of Gα12. In cultured cells expressing constitutively GDP-bound Gα12 or Gα13, the Gα12 construct was more potent in exerting a dominant-negative effect on serum-mediated signaling to p114RhoGEF, demonstrating coupling of these signaling proteins in a cellular pathway. In addition, charge-reversal of conserved residues in AKAP-Lbc and p114RhoGEF disrupted Gα12 binding for both proteins, suggesting they harbor a common structural mechanism for interaction with this a subunit. Our results provide the first evidence of p114RhoGEF as a Gα12 signaling effector, and define a novel region conserved between AKAP-Lbc and p114RhoGEF that allows Gα12 signaling input to these non-RH RhoGEFs.


Gα12Gα13heterotrimeric G proteinAKAP-Lbcp114RhoGEFRho
  • Year: 2016
  • Volume: 11
  • Page/Article: 3
  • DOI: 10.5334/1750-2187-11-3
  • Submitted on 25 May 2016
  • Accepted on 9 Jun 2016
  • Published on 9 Sep 2016
  • Peer Reviewed