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FASEB J. 1996 May;10(7):741-9.

G protein-coupled receptors and signaling pathways regulating growth responses.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093, USA.


Hormones that interact with seven-transmembrane spanning receptors, generally considered to be involved in acute signaling functions, also induce longer term effects on gene expression and cell growth. These genetic and proliferative effects can be induced by activation of receptors that signal through heterotrimeric GTP-binding proteins (G-proteins) of the Gq family, pertussis toxin-sensitive Gi/Go proteins, Gs, or G12/G13. Numerous growth-promoting G protein-coupled receptors activate the low molecular weight G-protein Ras and stimulate mitogen-activated protein kinase. Recent data suggest that c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase is also activated, possibly through interaction with low molecular weight G-proteins of the Rho family. Because G protein-coupled receptors lack intrinsic tyrosine kinase activity, the mechanisms by which heterotrimeric G-proteins couple to these kinase cascades remain to be elucidated. By analogy to growth factor receptors, G protein-coupled receptors may access these kinase cascades through binding of adapter proteins or recruitment of cytosolic tyrosine kinases. It is likely that interactions between multiple signaling pathways are required for G protein-coupled receptors to propagate signals to the nucleus.

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