Mammalian G Proteins and Their Cell Type Specific Functions
Heterotrimeric G proteins are key players in transmembrane signaling by coupling a huge variety of receptors to channel proteins, enzymes, and other effector molecules. Multiple subforms of G proteins together with receptors, effectors, and various regulatory proteins represent the components of a highly versatile signal transduction system. G protein-mediated signaling is employed by virtually all cells in the mammalian organism and is centrally involved in diverse physiological functions such as perception of sensory information, modulation of synaptic transmission, hormone release and actions, regulation of cell contraction and migration, or cell growth and differentiation. In this review, some of the functions of heterotrimeric G proteins in defined cells and tissues are described.