G protein diversity and the regulation of signaling pathways

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The subunits of the heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding (G) proteins mediate the transfer of information from receptor to effector molecules. Biochemical studies and recent molecular cloning efforts have revealed a rich but largely unexpected diversity in G protein subunit structure and function. Extreme specificity in signaling pathways could be accommodated by the combinatorial association of individual subunits. Alternatively, this wealth of diversity may allow for the simultaneous activation of related G(α) subunits and the modulation of several effector systems. In tissues where the subunits are expressed at different levels, activation of receptors could stimulate distinct effector pathways. Mutations in individual subunits as well as alterations in their level of expression can lead to profound physiological changes. The mechanisms that underlie these changes are being elucidated and will provide insight into the complex regulatory processes associated with the large G protein subunit family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)957-960
Number of pages4
JournalNew Biologist
Volume2
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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