G-protein βγ subunits as multi-functional scaffolds and transducers in G-protein-coupled receptor signaling

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2019 Nov;76(22):4447-4459. doi: 10.1007/s00018-019-03275-2. Epub 2019 Aug 21.


G-protein βγ subunits are key participants in G-protein signaling. These subunits facilitate interactions between receptors and G proteins that are critical for the G protein activation cycle at the plasma membrane. In addition, they play roles in directly transducing signals to an ever expanding range of downstream targets, including integral membrane and cytosolic proteins. Emerging data indicate that Gβγ may play additional roles at intracellular compartments including endosomes, the Golgi apparatus, and the nucleus. Here, we discuss the molecular and structural basis for their ability to coordinate this wide range of cellular activities.

Keywords: Adenylate cyclase; Cyclic AMP; G protein; G-protein-coupled receptor; G-protein-coupled receptor kinase; Membrane interactions; Phosphatidylinositol; Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; Phospholipase C; Second messengers; Signal transduction; Translocation; WD-40 repeat proteins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleus / physiology
  • Endosomes / metabolism
  • Endosomes / physiology
  • GTP-Binding Protein beta Subunits / metabolism*
  • GTP-Binding Protein gamma Subunits / metabolism*
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism
  • Golgi Apparatus / physiology
  • Humans
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • G-protein Beta gamma
  • GTP-Binding Protein beta Subunits
  • GTP-Binding Protein gamma Subunits
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled