Fluoride Action Network


Fluoride activation of G proteins requires the presence of aluminium or beryllium and it has been suggested that AIF4- acts as an analogue of the gamma-phosphate of GTP in the nucleotide site. We have investigated the action of AIF4- or of BeF3- on transducin (T), the G protein of the retinal rods, either indirectly through the activation of cGMP phosphodiesterase, or more directly through their effects on the conformation of transducin itself. In the presence of AIF4- or BeF3-, purified T alpha subunit of transducin activates purified cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase (PDE) in the absence of photoactivated rhodopsin. Activation is totally reversed by elution of fluoride or partially reversed by addition of excess T beta gamma. Activation requires that GDP or a suitable analogue be bound to T alpha: T alpha-GDP and T alpha-GDP alpha S are activable by fluorides, but not T alpha-GDP beta S, nor T alpha that has released its nucleotide upon binding to photoexcited rhodopsin. Analysis of previous works on other G proteins and with other nucleotide analogues confirm that in all cases fluoride activation requires that a GDP unsubstituted at its beta phosphate be bound in T alpha. By contrast with alumino-fluoride complexes, which can adopt various coordination geometries, all beryllium fluoride complexes are tetracoordinated, with a Be-F bond length of 1.55 A, and strictly isomorphous to a phosphate group. Our study confirms that fluoride activation of transducin results from a reversible binding of the metal-fluoride complex in the nucleotide site of T alpha, next to the beta phosphate of GDP, as an analogue of the gamma phosphate.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)