Functional characterization of G-protein-coupled receptors: A bioinformatics approach

L. Tovo-Rodrigues, A. Roux, M. H. Hutz, L. A. Rohde, A. S. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Complex molecular and cellular mechanisms regulate G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). It is suggested that proteins intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) are to play a role in GPCR's intra and extracellular regions plasticity, due to their potential for post-translational modification and interaction with other proteins. These regions are defined as lacking a stable three-dimensional (3D) structure. They are rich in hydrophilic and charged, amino acids and are capable to assume different conformations which allow them to interact with multiple partners. In this study we analyzed 75 GPCR involved in synaptic transmission using computational tools for sequence-based prediction of IDRs within a protein. We also evaluated putative ligand-binding motifs using receptor sequences. The disorder analysis indicated that neurotransmitter GPCRs have a significant amount of disorder in their N-terminus, third intracellular loop (3IL) and C-terminus. About 31%, 39% and 53% of human GPCR involved in synaptic transmission are disordered in these regions. Thirty-three percent of receptors show at least one predicted PEST motif, this being statistically greater than the estimate for the rest of human GPCRs. About 90% of the receptors had at least one putative site for dimerization in their 3IL or C-terminus. ELM instances sampled in these domains were 14-3-3, SH3, SH2 and PDZ motifs. In conclusion, the increased flexibility observed in GPCRs, added to the enrichment of linear motifs, PEST and heteromerization sites, may be critical for the nervous system's functional plasticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)764-779
Number of pages16
StatePublished - Sep 6 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Disordered proteins
  • GPCR
  • Linear motifs
  • Noncovalent interactions
  • Pest motifs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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