The G betagamma dimer as a novel source of selectivity in G-protein signaling: GGL-ing at convention

Mol Interv. 2004 Aug;4(4):200-14. doi: 10.1124/mi.4.4.4.


Heterotrimeric G proteins relay information between cell surface receptors and effector molecules in diverse signaling pathways to mediate critical cellular processes in both physiologic and pathologic conditions. Multiple isoforms of each of the three G protein subunits yield enormous structural and functional diversity. G proteins are thus obvious molecular targets for the therapeutic manipulation of signaling pathways. Their ubiquity among a vast array of G protein-coupled receptor pathways, however, may at first seem to threaten the attractiveness of G proteins as drug targets for specific signaling processes; in order for G proteins to be effective targets, some degree of selectivity must be defined and exploited. Although a great deal has been determined about the functional selectivity of G alpha subunits, relatively little is known regarding G betagamma selectivity. In this review, we discuss functional diversity among G betagamma subunits in both receptor coupling and effector activation. The novel functions of G beta(5), in complex with proteins of the GGL domain-containing R7 subfamily of regulators of G protein signaling, are discussed in detail, with specific focus on the potential of the G beta(5)-RGS9-2 pair as a therapeutic target in Parkinson's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dimerization
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / metabolism
  • Heterotrimeric GTP-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • Heterotrimeric GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Signal Transduction*


  • GTP Phosphohydrolases
  • Heterotrimeric GTP-Binding Proteins