Kumaş, Gözde Title Detecting g-protein coupled receptor interactions using enhanced green fluorescent protein reassembly

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Biotechnology, Turkey

Approval Date: 2012

Thesis Language: Turkish

Student: Gözde Kumaş

Principal Consultant (For Co-Consultant Theses): Çağdaş Devrim Son

Co-Consultant: Tülin Yanik


The largest class of cell surface receptors in mammalian genomes is the superfamily of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) which are activated by a wide range of extracellular responses such as hormones, pheromones, odorants, and neurotransmitters. Drugs which have therapeutic effects on a wide range of diseases are act on GPCRs. In contrast to traditional idea, it is recently getting accepted that G-protein coupled receptors can form homo- and hetero-dimers and this interaction could have important role on maturation, internalization, function or/and pharmacology. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation technique (BiFC); is an innovative approach based on the reassembly of protein fragments which directly report interactions. In our study we implemented this technique for detecting and visualizing the GPCR interactions in yeast cells. The enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) fractionated into two fragments at genetic level which does not possess fluorescent function. The target proteins which are going to be tested in terms of interaction are modified with the non-functional fragments, to produce the fusion proteins. The interaction between two target proteins, in this study Ste2p receptors which are alpha pheromone receptors from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, enable the fragments to come in a close proximity and reassemble. After reassembly, EGFP regains its fluorescent function which provides a direct read-out for the detection of interaction. Further studies are required to determine subcellular localization of the interaction. Moreover, by using the fusion protein partners constructed in this study, effects of agonist/antagonist binding and post-translational modifications such as glycosylation and phosphorylation can be examined. Apart from all, optimized conditions for BiFC technique will guide for revealing new protein-protein interactions.