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G protein beta gamma subunits.

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Department of Neurobiology and Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Guanine nucleotide binding (G) proteins relay extracellular signals encoded in light, small molecules, peptides, and proteins to activate or inhibit intracellular enzymes and ion channels. The larger G proteins, made up of G alpha beta gamma heterotrimers, dissociate into G alpha and G beta gamma subunits that separately activate intracellular effector molecules. Only recently has the G beta gamma subunit been recognized as a signal transduction molecule in its own right; G beta gamma is now known to directly regulate as many different protein targets as the G alpha subunit. Recent X-ray crystallography of G alpha, G beta gamma, and G alpha beta gamma subunits will guide the investigation of structure-function relationships.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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