We describe the solubilization, resolution, and reconstitution of the formylmethionylleucyl-phenylalanine (fMet-Leu-Phe) receptor and guanine nucleotide regulatory proteins (G-proteins). The receptor was solubilized with 3-[(3-cholamidopropyl)dimethylammonio]-l-propanesulfonate. Guanine nucleotides decreased the number of high-affinity binding sites and accelerated the rate of dissociation of the receptor-ligand complex, suggesting that the solubilized receptor remained coupled to endogenous G-proteins. The solubilized receptor was resolved from endogenous G-proteins by fractionation on a wheat germ agglutinin (WGA)-Sepharose 4B column. High-affinity [3H]fMet-Leu-Phe binding to the WGA-purified receptor was diminished and exhibited reduced guanine nucleotide sensitivity. High-affinity [3H] fMet-Leu-Phe binding and guanine nucleotide sensitivity were reconstituted upon the addition of purified brain G-proteins. Similar results were obtained when the receptor was reconstituted with brain G-proteins into phospholipid vesicles by gel filtration chromatography. In addition, we also demonstrated fMet-Leu-Phe-dependent GTP hydrolysis in the reconstituted vesicles. The results of this work indicate that coupling of the fMet-Leu-Phe receptor to G-proteins converts the receptor to a high-affinity binding state and that agonist produces activation of G-proteins. The resolution and functional reconstitution of this receptor should provide an important step toward the elucidation of the molecular mechanism of the fMet-Leu-Phe transduction system in neutrophils.
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