Particulate Guanylyl Cyclase Receptor A (pGC-A) is a natriuretic peptide membrane receptor, playing a vital role in controlling cardiovascular, renal, and endocrine functions. The extracellular domain interacts with natriuretic peptides and triggers the intracellular guanylyl cyclase domain to convert GTP to cGMP. To effectively develop methods to regulate pGC-A, structural information on the full-length form is needed. However, structural data on the transmembrane and intracellular domains are lacking. This work presents expression and optimization using baculovirus, along with the first purification of functional full-length human pGC-A. In vitro assays revealed the pGC-A tetramer was functional in detergent micelle solution. Based on our purification results and previous findings that dimer formation is required for functionality, we propose a tetramer complex model with two functional subunits. Previous research suggested pGC-A signal transduction is an ATP-dependent, two-step mechanism. Our results show the binding ligand also moderately activates pGC-A, and ATP is not crucial for activation of guanylyl cyclase. Furthermore, crystallization of full-length pGC-A was achieved, toward determination of its structure. Needle-shaped crystals with 3 Å diffraction were observed by serial crystallography. This work paves the road for determination of the full-length pGC-A structure and provides new information on the signal transduction mechanism.
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