Phosphotransfer reactions as a means of G protein activation
Abstract Heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding regulatory proteins (G proteins) serve to transduce information from agonist-bound receptors to effector enzymes or ion channels. Current models of G protein activation-deactivation indicate that the oligomeric GDP-bound form must undergo release of GDP, bind GTP and undergo subunit dissociation, in order to be in active form (GTP bound α subunits and free &bgr;&ggr; dimers) and to regulate effectors. The effect of receptor occupation by an agonist is generally accepted to be promotion of guanine nucleotide exchange thus allowing activation of the G protein. Recent studies indicate that transphosphorylation leading to the formation of GTP from GDP and ATP in the close vicinity, or even at the G protein, catalysed by membrane-associated nucleoside diphosphate kinase, may further activate G proteins. This activation is demonstrated by a decreased affinity of G protein-coupled receptors for agonists and an increased response of G protein coupled effectors. In addition, a phosphorylation of G protein &bgr; subunits and consequent phosphate transfer reaction resulting in G protein activation has also been demonstrated. Finally, endogenously formed GTP was preferentially effective in activating some G proteins compared to exogenous GTR The aim of this report is to present an overview of the evidence to date for a transphosphorylation as a means of G protein activation (see also refs [1 and 2] for reviews). (Mol Cell Biochem 157 : 593, 1996)
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