Gβ5-RGS complexes are gatekeepers of hyperactivity involved in control of multiple neurotransmitter systems

Keqiang Xie, Shencheng Ge, Victoria E. Collins, Christy L. Haynes, Kenneth J. Renner, Robert L. Meisel, Rafael Lujan, Kirill A. Martemyanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Rationale and objectives: Our knowledge about genes involved in the control of basal motor activity that may contribute to the pathology of the hyperactivity disorders, e.g., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is limited. Disruption of monoamine neurotransmitter signaling through G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) is considered to be a major contributing factor to the etiology of the ADHD. Genetic association evidence and functional data suggest that regulators of G protein signaling proteins of the R7 family (R7 RGS) that form obligatory complexes with type 5 G protein beta subunit (Gβ5) and negatively regulate signaling downstream from monoamine GPCRs may play a role in controlling hyperactivity. Methods: To test this hypothesis, we conducted behavioral, pharmacological, and neurochemical studies using a genetic mouse model that lacked Gβ5, a subunit essential for the expression of the entire R7 RGS family. Results: Elimination of Gβ5-RGS complexes led to a striking level of hyperactivity that far exceeds activity levels previously observed in animal models. This hyperactivity was accompanied by motor learning deficits and paradoxical behavioral sensitization to a novel environment. Neurochemical studies indicated that Gβ5-RGS-deficient mice had higher sensitivity of inhibitory GPCR signaling and deficits in basal levels, release, and reuptake of dopamine. Surprisingly, pharmacological treatment with monoamine reuptake inhibitors failed to alter hyperactivity. In contrast, blockade of NMDA receptors reversed the expression of hyperactivity in Gβ5-RGS- deficient mice. Conclusions: These findings establish that Gβ5-RGS complexes are critical regulators of monoamine-NMDA receptor signaling cross-talk and link these complexes to disorders that manifest as hyperactivity, impaired learning, and motor dysfunctions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-834
Number of pages12
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We would like to thank Dr. Ching-Kang Jason Chen (VCU) for providing Gβ5−/− mouse line and Dr. William Simonds (NIH) for the generous gift of anti-Gβ5 antibodies. This work was supported by NIH grants DA021743 (K.A.M.), DA026405 (K.A.M.), DA019921 (K.J.R.), and DA13680 (R.L.M.); McKnight Land-Grant Professorship award (K.A.M.), NSF 0921874 (K.J.R); grants from the Spanish Ministry Science and Innovation (BFU2009-08404/BFI and CONSOLIDER-Ingenio CSD2008-00005; RL); and Searle Scholars Award (C.L.H.).


  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Basal ganglia
  • G protein-coupled receptors
  • Hyperactivity
  • Motor control
  • Regulators of G protein signaling (RGS)
  • Synaptic transmission


Dive into the research topics of 'Gβ5-RGS complexes are gatekeepers of hyperactivity involved in control of multiple neurotransmitter systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this