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Figure 3-70. GTP-binding proteins as molecular switches.

Figure 3-70GTP-binding proteins as molecular switches

The activity of a GTP-binding protein (also called a GTPase) generally requires the presence of a tightly bound GTP molecule (switch “on”). Hydrolysis of this GTP molecule produces GDP and inorganic phosphate (Pi), and it causes the protein to convert to a different, usually inactive, conformation (switch “off”). As shown here, resetting the switch requires the tightly bound GDP to dissociate, a slow step that is greatly accelerated by specific signals; once the GDP has dissociated, a molecule of GTP is quickly rebound.

From: Protein Function

Cover of Molecular Biology of the Cell
Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition.
Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, et al.
New York: Garland Science; 2002.
Copyright © 2002, Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and Peter Walter; Copyright © 1983, 1989, 1994, Bruce Alberts, Dennis Bray, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and James D. Watson .

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