We examined the interaction between the stimulatory guanine-nucleotide-binding protein, Gs, and the inhibitory guanine-nucleotide-binding protein, Gi, in cell membranes of S49 lymphoma cells. In these cells, beta-adrenergic receptors stimulate the activity of adenylate cyclase via Gs, whereas inhibition via somatostatin receptors is transduced by an inhibitory G-protein, Gi. Using an antibody that selectively recognizes alpha s, the monomeric, but not the heterotrimeric, alpha-subunit of Gs, we quantified the extent of dissociation of Gs in a competitive e.l.i.s.a. Incubation of S49-cell plasma membranes with 0.1 microM-isoprenaline, 100 microM free Mg2+ and 100 microM-GTP produced substantial subunit dissociation of Gs, which was reversible by addition of purified beta gamma-subunit dimer or somatostatin. Somatostatin produced an immediate (without a lag) time- and concentration-dependent decrease in the concentration of dissociated Gs (kinhib. for somatostatin = 51 +/- 12 nM) and in the activity of adenylate cyclase (kinhib. = 121 +/- 20 nM). By contrast, after addition of a 10-fold molar excess of beta gamma-dimer relative to alpha s, there was a 2-3 min lag, after which the beta gamma-dimer re-associated Gs. Isoprenaline-induced dissociation of Gs was accompanied by a release of alpha s from the incubated membranes to a post-100,000 g supernatant, and somatostatin could reverse this release. Immunoblot analysis with both a C-terminal anti-peptide antibody and an antibody directed against a sequence near the N-terminal also showed release of alpha s by the beta-agonist and reversal by somatostatin. Membrane release of Gs by isoprenaline that could be blocked by somatostatin was also confirmed in reconstitution studies of supernatant fraction into cyc- S49-cell membranes. We conclude that in native cell membranes somatostatin-induced activation of Gi dissociates Gi and interferes with the Gs activation cycle by providing beta gamma-dimer, which acts to prevent or reverse formation of monomeric alpha s. Because alpha s can be released from the cell membrane, regulation of the local concentration of GTP-liganded dissociated alpha s is likely to be an important factor in modulating the activity of adenylate cyclase.

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