Clinical implications of guanine nucleotide-binding proteins as receptor-effector couplers

A. M. Spiegel, P. Gierschik, M. A. Levine, R. W. Downs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has long been known that some cellular proteins bind guanine nucleotides such as guanosine triphosphate (GTP) with high affinity. These binding proteins are called G proteins and have been linked to such critical intracellular functions as protein synthesis. In the past decade three new G proteins have been discovered that reside in the plasma membrane and transmit information from the outside to the inside of the cell. Two of these new G proteins form part of the adenylate cyclase system, a membrane-bound enzyme complex found in virtually every cell, and the third G protein is found in the disk membranes of the outer segment of the retinal rod. In this review we will discuss this new family of G proteins, beginning with their structural and functional features. We will then explore the clinical implications of G-protein abnormalities and discuss disorders, such as cholera and pseudohypoparathyroidism, that have been clearly linked to abnormalities of these proteins. In addition, we will examine other disorders that may involve G proteins, such as retinitis pigmentosa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-33
Number of pages8
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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