The neuronally expressed G beta(5) subunit is the most structurally divergent among heterotrimeric G beta isoforms and unique in its ability to heterodimerize with the R7 subfamily of regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) proteins. The complex between G beta(5) and R7-type RGS proteins targets the cell nucleus by an unknown mechanism. Although the nuclear targeting of the G beta(5)/R7-RGS complex is proposed to involve the binding of R7-binding protein (R7BP), this theory is challenged by the observations that endogenous R7BP is palmitoylated, co-localizes strongly with the plasma membrane, and has never been identified in the cytosol or nucleus of native neurons or untreated cultured cells. We show here mutant RGS7 lacking the N-terminal Disheveled, EGL-10, Pleckstrin homology domain is expressed in transfected cells but, unlike wild-type RGS7, is excluded from the cell nucleus. As the Disheveled, EGL-10, Pleckstrin homology domain is essential for R7BP binding to RGS7, we studied the subcellular localization of G beta(5) in primary neurons and brain from mice deficient in R7BP. The level of endogenous nuclear G beta(5) and RGS7 in neurons and brains from R7BP knockout mice is reduced by 50-70%. These results suggest that R7BP contributes significantly to the nuclear localization of endogenous G beta(5)/R7-RGS complex in brain.