Common modifications of trimeric G proteins and ras protein: involvement of polyisoprenylation

Science  13 Jul 1990:
Vol. 249, Issue 4965, pp. 165-169
DOI: 10.1126/science.1695391


The heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding regulatory proteins act at the inner surface of the plasma membrane to relay information from cell surface receptors to effectors inside the cell. These G proteins are not integral membrane proteins, yet are membrane associated. The processing and function of the gamma subunit of the yeast G protein involved in mating-pheromone signal transduction was found to be affected by the same mutations that block ras processing. The nature of these mutations implied that the gamma subunit was polyisoprenylated and that this modification was necessary for membrane association and biological activity. A microbial screen was developed for pharmacological agents that inhibit polyisoprenylation and that have potential application in cancer therapy.

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