Signalling functions and biochemical properties of pertussis toxin-resistant G-proteins.
Pertussis toxin (PTX) has been widely used as a reagent to characterize the involvement of heterotrimeric G-proteins in signalling. This toxin catalyses the ADP-ribosylation of specific G-protein alpha subunits of the Gi family, and this modification prevents the occurrence of the receptor-G-protein interaction. This review focuses on the biochemical properties and signalling of those G-proteins historically classified as 'PTX-resistant' due to the inability of the toxin to influence signalling through them. These G-proteins include members of the Gq and G12 families and one Gi family member, i.e. Gz. Signalling pathways controlled by these G-proteins are well characterized only for Gq family members, which activate specific isoforms of phospholipase C, resulting in increases in intracellular calcium and activation of protein kinase C (PKC), among other responses. While members of the G12 family have been implicated in processes that regulate cell growth, and Gz has been shown to inhibit adenylate cyclase, the specific downstream targets to these G-proteins in vivo have not been clearly established. Since two of these proteins, G12 alpha and Gz alpha, are excellent substrates for PKC, there is the potential for cross-talk between their signalling and Gq-dependent processes leading to activation of PKC. In tissues that express these G-proteins, a number of guanine-nucleotide-dependent, PTX-resistant, signalling pathways have been defined for which the G-protein involved has not been identified. This review summarizes these pathways and discusses the evidence both for the participation of specific PTX-resistant G-proteins in them and for the regulation of these processes by PKC.
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