GIV/Girdin is a rheostat that fine-tunes growth factor signals during tumor progression

Cell Adh Migr. May-Jun 2011;5(3):237-48. doi: 10.4161/cam.5.3.15909. Epub 2011 May 1.


GIV/Girdin is a multidomain signaling molecule that enhances PI3K-Akt signals downstream of both G protein-coupled and growth factor receptors. We previously reported that GIV triggers cell migration via its C-terminal guanine-nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) motif that activates Gαi. Recently we discovered that GIV's C-terminus directly interacts with the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and when its GEF function is intact, a Gαi-GIV-EGFR signaling complex assembles. By coupling G proteins to growth factor receptors, GIV is uniquely poised to intercept the incoming receptor-initiated signals and modulate them via G protein intermediates. Subsequent work has revealed that expression of the highly specialized C-terminus of GIV undergoes a bipartite dysregulation during oncogenesis-full length GIV with an intact C-terminus is expressed at levels ~20-50-fold above normal in highly invasive cancer cells and metastatic tumors, but its C-terminus is truncated by alternative splicing in poorly invasive cancer cells and non-invasive tumors. The consequences of such dysregulation on graded signal transduction and cellular phenotypes in the normal epithelium and its implication during tumor progression are discussed herein. Based on the fact that GIV grades incoming signals initiated by ligand-activated receptors by linking them to cyclical activation of G proteins, we propose that GIV is a molecular rheostat for signal transduction.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Microfilament Proteins / chemistry
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / chemistry
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / metabolism


  • CCDC88A protein, human
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins