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The contractile state of the human myometrium is controlled by extracellular signals that promote relaxation or contraction. Many of these signals function through G protein-coupled receptors at the cell surface, stimulating heterotrimeric G proteins and leading to changes in the activity of effector proteins responsible for bringing about the response. G proteins can interact with multiple receptors and many different effectors and are key players in the response. Regulators of G protein signalling (RGS) proteins are GTPase activating proteins for heterotrimeric G proteins and help terminate the signal. Little is known about the function of RGS proteins in human myometrium and we have therefore analysed transcript levels for RGS proteins at various stages of pregnancy (non-pregnant, preterm, term non-labouring, term labouring). RGS2 and RGS5 were the most abundantly expressed isolates in each of the patient groups. The levels of RGS4 and RGS16 (and to a lesser extent RGS2 and RGS14) increased in term labouring samples relative to the other groups. Yeast two-hybrid analysis and co-immunoprecipitation in myometrial cells revealed that both RGS2 and RGS5 interact directly with the cytoplasmic tail of the oxytocin receptor, suggesting they might help regulate signalling through this receptor.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Pharmacol

Publication Date





23 - 28


Adult, Female, GTP-Binding Proteins, GTPase-Activating Proteins, Humans, Middle Aged, Myometrium, Pregnancy, RGS Proteins, RNA, Messenger, Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled, Signal Transduction, Young Adult