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Trends Biochem Sci. 2001 May;26(5):291-7.

Signaling at zero G: G-protein-independent functions for 7-TM receptors.

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Molecular Mechanisms of Development, Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology, NIDDK/NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892-2715, USA.


Eukaryotic cells, whether free-living, single-celled microbes or components of complex metazoa, can sense environmental cues through specialized seven-transmembrane (7-TM) receptors (also called heptahelical or G-protein-coupled receptors). 7-TM receptors detect "inputs" such as light, peptide hormones, neurotransmitters, pheromones, odorants, morphogens and chemoattractants, linking extracellular stimuli to intracellular signaling networks via heterotrimeric G proteins. Recently, this obligatory paradigm has been challenged. A growing body of evidence indicates that 7-TM receptors can also transmit extracellular signals through mechanisms that function independently of G-protein coupling. This review discusses pathways and protein interactions for 7-TM receptors signaling "at zero G" in Dictyostelium and mammalian cells.

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