Small molecular weight GTPases (small G proteins) are essential in the transduction of signals from different plasma membrane receptors. Due to their endogenous GTP-hydrolyzing activity, these proteins function as time-dependent biological switches controlling diverse cellular functions including cell shape and migration, cell proliferation, gene transcription, vesicular transport and membrane-trafficking. This review focuses on endocrine diseases linked to small G proteins. We provide examples for the regulation of the activity of small G proteins by various mechanisms such as posttranslational modifications, guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), GTPase activating proteins (GAPs) or guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitors (GDIs). Finally we summarize endocrine diseases where small G proteins or their regulatory proteins have been revealed as the cause.
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