Posts Tagged ‘G protein’

Lesson 3 Cell Signaling & Motility: G Proteins, Signal Transduction: Curations and Articles of reference as supplemental information: #TUBiol3373

Curator: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.

Lesson 3 Powerpoint (click link below):

cell signaling and motility 3 finalissima sjw

Four papers to choose from for your February 11 group presentation:

Structural studies of G protein Coupled receptor


G protein as target in neurodegerative disease

fish technique



Today’s lesson 3 explains how extracellular signals are transduced (transmitted) into the cell through receptors to produce an agonist-driven event (effect).  This lesson focused on signal transduction from agonist through G proteins (GTPases), and eventually to the effectors of the signal transduction process.  Agonists such as small molecules like neurotransmitters, hormones, nitric oxide were discussed however later lectures will discuss more in detail the large growth factor signalings which occur through receptor tyrosine kinases and the Ras family of G proteins as well as mechanosignaling through Rho and Rac family of G proteins.

Transducers: The Heterotrimeric G Proteins (GTPases)

An excellent review of heterotrimeric G Proteins found in the brain is given by

Heterotrimeric G Proteins by Eric J Nestler and Ronald S Duman.



from Seven-Transmembrane receptors – Scientific Figure on ResearchGate. Available from: [accessed 4 Feb, 2019] and see references within



See below for the G Protein Cycle









<a href=”″><img src=”; alt=”.3.2: The G protein cycle. In the absence of agonist (A), GPCRs are mainly in the low affinity state (R). After agonist binding, the receptor is activated in the high affinity state (R*), and the agonist-GPCR-G protein complex is formed. GTP replaces GDP in Gα. After that the G protein dissociates into the Gα subunit and the Gβγ heterodimer, which then activate several effector proteins. The built-in GTPase activity of the Gα subunit cleaves the terminal phosphate group of GTP, and the GDP bound Gα subunit reassociates with Gβγ heterodimer. This results in the deactivation of both Gα and Gβγ. The G protein cycle returns to the basal state. RGS, regulator of G protein signalling.”/></a>


From Citation: Review: A. M. Preininger, H. E. Hamm, G protein signaling: Insights from new structures. Sci. STKE2004, re3 (2004)


For a tutorial on G Protein coupled receptors (GPCR) see




cyclic AMP (cAMP) signaling to the effector Protein Kinase A (PKA)


Cyclic AMP is an important second messenger. It forms, as shown, when the membrane enzyme adenylyl cyclase is activated (as indicated, by the alpha subunit of a G protein).


The cyclic AMP then goes on the activate specific proteins. Some ion channels, for example, are gated by cyclic AMP. But an especially important protein activated by cyclic AMP is protein kinase A, which goes on the phosphorylate certain cellular proteins. The scheme below shows how cyclic AMP activates protein kinase A.

Additional information on Nitric Oxide as a Cellular Signal

Nitric oxide is actually a free radical and can react with other free radicals, resulting in a very short half life (only a few seconds) and so in the body is produced locally to its site of action (i.e. in endothelial cells surrounding the vascular smooth muscle, in nerve cells). In the late 1970s, Dr. Robert Furchgott observed that acetylcholine released a substance that produced vascular relaxation, but only when the endothelium was intact. This observation opened this field of research and eventually led to his receiving a Nobel prize. Initially, Furchgott called this substance endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF), but by the mid-1980s he and others identified this substance as being NO.

Nitric oxide is produced from metabolism of endogenous substances like L-arginine, catalyzed by one of three isoforms of nitric oxide synthase (for link to a good article see here) or release from exogenous compounds like drugs used to treat angina pectoris like amyl nitrate or drugs used for hypertension such as sodium nitroprusside.

The following articles are a great reference to the chemistry, and physiological and pathological Roles of Nitric Oxide:

46. The Molecular Biology of Renal Disorders: Nitric Oxide – Part III

Curator and Author: Larry H Bernstein, MD, FACP

47. Nitric Oxide Function in Coagulation – Part II

Curator and Author: Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP

48. Nitric Oxide, Platelets, Endothelium and Hemostasis

Curator and Author: Larry H Bernstein, MD, FACP

49. Interaction of Nitric Oxide and Prostacyclin in Vascular Endothelium

Curator and Author: Larry H Bernstein, MD, FACP

50. Nitric Oxide and Immune Responses: Part 1

Curator and Author:  Aviral Vatsa PhD, MBBS

51. Nitric Oxide and Immune Responses: Part 2

Curator and Author:  Aviral Vatsa PhD, MBBS

56. Nitric Oxide and iNOS have Key Roles in Kidney Diseases – Part II

Curator and Author: Larry H Bernstein, MD, FACP

57. New Insights on Nitric Oxide donors – Part IV

Curator and Author: Larry H Bernstein, MD, FACP

59. Nitric Oxide has a ubiquitous role in the regulation of glycolysis -with a concomitant influence on mitochondrial function

Curator and Author: Larry H Bernstein, MD, FACP         a-concomitant-influence-on-mitochondrial-function/

Biochemistry of the Coagulation Cascade and Platelet Aggregation: Nitric Oxide: Platelets, Circulatory Disorders, and Coagulation Effects

Nitric Oxide Function in Coagulation – Part II

Nitric oxide is implicated in many pathologic processes as well.  Nitric oxide post translational modifications have been attributed to nitric oxide’s role in pathology however, although the general mechanism by which nitric oxide exerts its physiological effects is by stimulation of soluble guanylate cyclase to produce cGMP, these post translational modifications can act as a cellular signal as well.  For more information of NO pathologic effects and how NO induced post translational modifications can act as a cellular signal see the following:

Nitric Oxide Covalent Modifications: A Putative Therapeutic Target?

58. Crucial role of Nitric Oxide in Cancer

Curator and Author: Ritu Saxena, Ph.D.

Note:  A more comprehensive ebook on Nitric Oxide and Disease Perspectives is found at

Cardiovascular Diseases, Volume One: Perspectives on Nitric Oxide in Disease Mechanisms

available on Kindle Store @


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