Guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G-proteins) act as transducers of external stimuli for intracellular signaling, and control various cellular processes in cooperation with seven transmembrane G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Because GPCRs constitute the largest family of eukaryotic membrane proteins and enable the selective recognition of a diverse range of molecules (ligands), they are the major molecular targets in pharmaceutical and medicinal fields. In addition, GPCRs have been known to form heteromers as well as homomers, which may result in vast physiological diversity and provide opportunities for drug discovery. G-proteins and their signal transduction machinery are universally conserved in eukaryotes; thereby, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used to construct artificial in vivo GPCR biosensors. In this chapter, we focus on the yeast-based GPCR biosensors that can detect ligand stimulation and oligomer formation, and summarize their techniques using the G-protein signaling and protein-protein interaction assays.
Part of the book: Peripheral Membrane Proteins