PerspectiveStructural Biology

Propping Up Our Knowledge of G Protein Signaling Pathways: Diverse Functions of Putative Noncanonical Gβ Subunits in Fungi

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Science's STKE  23 Jan 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 370, pp. pe3
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3702007pe3

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Heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide–binding proteins, composed of Gα, Gβ, and Gγ subunits, are important mediators of fungal pheromone and nutrient signaling pathways. Most fungal genomes encode two or three functionally distinct Gα subunits but only a single canonical Gβ subunit, which does not bind multiple Gα subunits. Studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Schizosaccharomyces pombe have identified binding partners for Gα subunits, which are proposed to be "noncanonical Gβ subunits." This Perspective reviews these studies, summarizing the strengths and weaknesses of the claims to this designation for these four fungal proteins.

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