The 35- and 36-kDa beta subunits of GTP-binding regulatory proteins are products of separate genes.
The wide range of functions attributed to GTP-binding regulatory proteins (G proteins) is reflected in the structural diversity which exists among the alpha, beta, and gamma subunits of G proteins. Recently two cDNA clones encoding beta subunits, beta 1 and beta 2, were isolated from bovine and human cDNA libraries. We report here that the beta 2 gene encodes the 35-kilodalton (kDa) component of the beta 35/beta 36 subunit of G proteins and that the beta 1 gene encodes the 36-kilodalton component. The in vitro translation product of the beta 2 cDNA co-migrates with the 35-kDa beta subunit (beta 35), while the in vitro product of the beta 1 cDNA co-migrates with the 36-kDa beta subunit (beta 36) on denaturing polyacrylamide gels. In addition, antisera generated against synthetic beta 2 peptides bind specifically to the beta 35 component of isolated G proteins and to a 35-kDa protein in myeloid cell membranes. Our results suggest that the two beta subunits could serve distinct functions, as they are derived from separate genes which have been highly conserved in evolution.