G protein beta gamma subunits

Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 1997;37:167-203. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pharmtox.37.1.167.


Guanine nucleotide binding (G) proteins relay extracellular signals encoded in light, small molecules, peptides, and proteins to activate or inhibit intracellular enzymes and ion channels. The larger G proteins, made up of G alpha beta gamma heterotrimers, dissociate into G alpha and G beta gamma subunits that separately activate intracellular effector molecules. Only recently has the G beta gamma subunit been recognized as a signal transduction molecule in its own right; G beta gamma is now known to directly regulate as many different protein targets as the G alpha subunit. Recent X-ray crystallography of G alpha, G beta gamma, and G alpha beta gamma subunits will guide the investigation of structure-function relationships.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Enzyme Activation
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / chemistry*
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Ion Channels / metabolism
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Structure, Secondary*
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / metabolism
  • Rhodopsin / metabolism


  • Ion Channels
  • Lipids
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta
  • Rhodopsin
  • GTP-Binding Proteins