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Assessing GPCR dimerization in living cells: Comparison of the nanobit assay with related bioluminescence- and fluorescence-based approaches

Wouters, E and Vasudevan, L and Ciruela, F and Saini, DK and Stove, C and Van Craenenbroeck, K (2018) Assessing GPCR dimerization in living cells: Comparison of the nanobit assay with related bioluminescence- and fluorescence-based approaches. [Book Chapter]

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-8576-0_15


G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) modulate cellular signaling pathways, including differentiation, proliferation, hormonal regulation, and neuronal activity. Therefore, it is not surprising that almost 50% of the drugs available in the pharmaceutical market target GPCRs. Recently, an emerging body of evidence has proven the formation of GPCR dimers and even higher order oligomers. For neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, it is crucial to characterize these receptor–receptor interactions in the brain to elucidate their role in neuronal disease-relevant processes. As a first step, a robust in cellulo assay is essential to identify and characterize specific GPCR–GPCR interactions. In the past 20 years, considerable efforts have been directed towards the development of GPCR dimerization screening assays to evaluate these receptor–receptor interactions in living cells. Interestingly, most of the approaches employ noninvasive fluorescence- and luminescence-based assays. Here, we present an efficient strategy to study GPCR dimerization dynamics, namely a protein complementation assay (PCA) based on the reconstitution of a luminescent protein, the NanoLuciferase (NL). Thus, GPCRs of interest are fused to complementary NL fragments which upon GPCR dimerization may reconstitute to a functional reporter, of which activity can be measured. The experimental procedure takes 2–4 days to complete, depending on the cell type and complexity of the experimental setup. In contrast to alternative protein complementation assays (also described in this book chapter), this method can also be implemented to analyze the kinetics of ligand-dependent modulation of dimerization, broadening its application potential. Additionally, high throughput screenings can also be performed, which is highly relevant given the growing interest and effort to identify small molecule drugs that can target disease-relevant dimers (or even selectively alter GPCR dimer function).

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publication: Neuromethods
Publisher: Humana Press Inc.
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to Humana Press Inc.
Keywords: dopamine 2 receptor; G protein coupled receptor; luciferase, bioluminescence; cells by body anatomy; dimerization; fluorescence analysis; high throughput screening; human; human cell; nonhuman; oligomerization; priority journal; protein determination; protein function
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Molecular Reproduction, Development & Genetics
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2022 05:37
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2022 05:37
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/76036

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