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Aging (Albany NY). 2015 Jul;7(7):469-74.

Heterotrimeric G proteins as emerging targets for network based therapy in cancer: End of a long futile campaign striking heads of a Hydra.

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Department of Medicine, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.


Most common diseases, e.g., cancer are driven by not one, but multiple cell surface receptors that trigger and sustain a pathologic signaling network. The largest fraction of therapeutic agents that target individual receptors/pathways eventually fail due to the emergence of compensatory mechanisms that reestablish the pathologic network. Recently, a rapidly emerging paradigm has revealed GIV/Girdin as a central platform for receptor cross-talk which integrates signals downstream of a myriad of cell surface receptors, and modulates several key pathways within downstream signaling network, all via non-canonical activation of trimeric G proteins. Unlike canonical signal transduction via G proteins, which is spatially and temporally restricted, the temporal and spatial features of non-canonical activation of G protein via GIV is unusually unrestricted. Consequently, the GIV●G protein interface serves as a central hub allowing for control over several pathways within the pathologic signaling network, all at once. The relevance of this new paradigm in cancer and other disease states and the pros and cons of targeting the GIV●G protein interface are discussed.


G protein-coupled receptors; GIV; Girdin; cancer metastasis; growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases; heterotrimeric G proteins

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