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Cell Signal. 2002 May;14(5):407-18.

G protein specificity: traffic direction required.

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Ottawa Health Research Institute, Neuroscience, University of Ottawa, 451 Smyth Road, K1H-8M5, Ottawa, ON, Canada.


This review focuses on the coupling specificity of the Galpha and Gbetagamma subunits of pertussis toxin (PTX)-sensitive G(i/o) proteins that mediate diverse signaling pathways, including regulation of ion channels and other effectors. Several lines of evidence indicate that specific combinations of G protein alpha, beta and gamma subunits are required for different receptors or receptor-effector networks, and that a higher degree of specificity for Galpha and Gbetagamma is observed in intact systems than reported in vitro. The structural determinants of receptor-G protein specificity remain incompletely understood, and involve receptor-G protein interaction domains, and perhaps other scaffolding processes. By identifying G protein specificity for individual receptor signaling pathways, ligands targeted to disrupt individual pathways of a given receptor could be developed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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