Molecular targeting of Gα and Gβγ subunits: a potential approach for cancer therapeutics

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2013 May;34(5):290-8. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2013 Apr 1.


G-Protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) signal through G protein α and βγ subunit families to regulate a wide range of physiological and pathophysiological processes. As such, GPCRs are major targets for therapeutic drugs. Downstream targets of GPCRs have also gained interest as a therapeutic approach to complex pathologies involving multiple GPCRs. One such approach involves targeting of the G proteins themselves. Several small molecule Gα and Gβγ modulators have been developed and been tested in various animal models of disease. Here we will discuss the requirements for targeting Gα and Gβγ subunits, the mechanisms of action of currently identified inhibitors, and focus on the potential utility of Gα and Gβγ inhibitors in the treatment of various cancers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits / metabolism*
  • GTP-Binding Protein beta Subunits / metabolism*
  • GTP-Binding Protein gamma Subunits / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits
  • GTP-Binding Protein beta Subunits
  • GTP-Binding Protein gamma Subunits