G Proteins and G Protein-Coupled Receptors

  • Michael A. Shetzline
  • Marc G. Caron
Part of the Endocrine Updates book series (ENDO, volume 17)


Cells live in a constantly changing milieu. The structure and biochemical nature of this environment is dynamic and in order for normal cellular function to proceed in a manner appropriate for the benefit of the organism, cells must be able to access this changing information. The biochemical mediators of this information exchange are cell surface receptors. Receptors transduce information from the extracellular space to the intracellular compartment. This process involves the following steps: receptor activation, G protein coupling, and second messenger generation. Equally important in cell signaling is the termination of this signal including desensitization, internalization and resensitization. All these steps represent potential regulatory checkpoints and possible targets for therapeutic intervention. Cell surface receptors include G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), as well as, ion channels and enzyme-linked receptors. GPCRs are responsible for physiological responses as diverse as visual perception, neurotransmission, cell growth and cell differentiation.


Focal Adhesion Kinase Adenylyl Cyclase Adrenergic Receptor Intracellular Loop Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Shetzline
    • 1
  • Marc G. Caron
    • 1
  1. 1.Howard Hughes Medical Institute Laboratories and Department of Cell Biology and MedicineDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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