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The organization of Rhodopsin-family G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) at the cell surface is controversial. Support both for and against the existence of dimers has been obtained in studies of mostly individual receptors. Here, we use a large-scale comparative study to examine the stoichiometric signatures of 60 receptors expressed by a single human cell line. Using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer- and single-molecule microscopy-based assays, we found that a relatively small fraction of Rhodopsin-family GPCRs behaved as dimers and that these receptors otherwise appear to be monomeric. Overall, the analysis predicted that fewer than 20% of ∼700 Rhodopsin-family receptors form dimers. The clustered distribution of the dimers in our sample and a striking correlation between receptor organization and GPCR family size that we also uncover each suggest that receptor stoichiometry might have profoundly influenced GPCR expansion and diversification.

Original publication




Journal article


Cell Rep

Publication Date





2654 - 2665


BRET, G protein-coupled receptors, evolution, single-molecule imaging, stoichiometry