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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

GTP binding proteins: a key role in cellular communication.

One of the major steps in the understanding of the hormonal and sensory transduction mechanisms in eukaryotic cells has been the discovery of a family of GTP binding proteins which couple receptors to specific cellular effectors. The absolute requirement of GTP for hormonal stimulation of adenylate cyclase was the initial observation which led to the purification of the protein involved: Gs. Gs couples stimulatory receptors to adenylate cyclase. It is a heterotrimer composed of an alpha chain (45 or 52 kDa), a beta chain (35-36 kDa) and a gamma chain (8 kDa). Several other G proteins of known functions have been purified: Gi, which couples inhibitory receptors to adenylate cyclase, and transducin which couples photoexcited rhodopsin to cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase. Some G proteins of uncertain function have also been purified: Go, a G protein mainly localized in nervous tissues and Gp, a G protein isolated from placenta and platelets. All these G proteins have a common design. Like Gs they all consist of 3 chains: alpha, beta and gamma. The beta chains are nearly identical, whereas the gamma chains are more variable. The alpha chains are different, but share common domains (especially at the level of the GTP binding site). These domains of homologies are also similar to those of other GTP binding proteins, such as the product of the ras gene (p21) and the initiation or elongation factors. alpha Chains are also ADP ribosylated by bacterial toxins. Gs and transducin are targets for cholera toxin, whereas Gi, Go and transducin are targets for pertussis toxin.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


  1. GTP binding proteins: a key role in cellular communication. Bockaert, J., Homburger, V., Rouot, B. Biochimie (1987) [Pubmed]
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