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Sci. Signal., 29 May 2012
Vol. 5, Issue 226, p. re2
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003013]


Signal Activation and Inactivation by the Gα Helical Domain: A Long-Neglected Partner in G Protein Signaling

Henrik G. Dohlman* and Janice C. Jones

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.

Gloss: Heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide–binding protein (G protein)–coupled receptors (GPCRs) transduce cellular responses to sensory signals, hormones, and neurotransmitters, as well as clinically relevant drugs. The G protein α subunit consists of two domains, one that resembles the guanosine triphosphatase Ras and another that is composed entirely of α helices. The Ras-like domain was long believed to mediate the core signaling functions of the G protein. In this review, which contains 1 figure and 46 references, we highlight studies that have revealed the occurrence of unexpected structural changes within the helical domain, which appear to underlie signal initiation by their cognate GPCRs.

*Corresponding author. E-mail: hdohlman{at}

Citation: H. G. Dohlman, J. C. Jones, Signal Activation and Inactivation by the Gα Helical Domain: A Long-Neglected Partner in G Protein Signaling. Sci. Signal. 5, re2 (2012).

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