Molecular properties of mammalian proteins that interact with cGMP: protein kinases, cation channels, phosphodiesterases, and multi-drug anion transporters

Front Biosci. 2005 Sep 1:10:2097-117. doi: 10.2741/1684.


Cyclic GMP is a critical second messenger signaling molecule in many mammalian cell types. It is synthesized by a family of guanylyl cyclases that is activated in response to stimuli from hormones such as natriuretic peptides, members of the guanylin family, and chemical stimuli including nitric oxide and carbon monoxide. The resulting elevation of cGMP modulates myriad physiological processes. Three major groups of cellular proteins bind cGMP specifically at allosteric sites; interaction of cGMP with these sites modulates the activities and functions of other domains within these protein groups to bring about physiological effects. These proteins include the cyclic nucleotide (cN)-dependent protein kinases, cN-gated cation channels, and cGMP-binding phosphodiesterases (PDE). Cyclic GMP also interacts with the catalytic sites of many cN PDEs and with some members of the multi-drug anion transporter family (MRPs) which can extrude nucleotides from cells. The allosteric cN-binding sites in the kinases and the cN-gated channels are evolutionarily and biochemically related, whereas the allosteric cGMP-binding sites in PDEs (also known as GAF domains), the catalytic sites of PDEs , and the ligand-binding sites in the MRPs are evolutionarily and biochemically distinct from each other and from those in the kinase and channel families. The sites that interact with cGMP within each of these groups of proteins have unique properties that provide for cGMP binding. Within a given cell, cGMP can potentially interact with members of all these groups of proteins if they are present. The relative abundance and affinities of these various cGMP-binding sites in conjunction with their subcellular compartmentation, proximity to cyclases and PDEs, and post-translational modification contribute importantly in determining the impact of these respective proteins to cGMP signaling within a particular cell.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Cyclic GMP / chemistry
  • Cyclic GMP / metabolism*
  • Ion Channels / chemistry
  • Ion Channels / metabolism*
  • Mammals
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / chemistry
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / chemistry
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Kinases / chemistry
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*


  • Ion Channels
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins
  • Protein Kinases
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases
  • Cyclic GMP