Binding of a hormone or neurotransmitter to its cell-surface receptor ultimately modulates the activity of one or more membrane-associated intracellular effectors. Members of a family of guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G proteins) serve as transducers of receptor-generated signals in several such pathways. Michael Graziano and Alfred Gilman review the functions of both G proteins and the effectors that they regulate. Appreciation of an increasing number of these proteins suggests that they coordinate the cell's response to a wide variety of functionally diverse signals.
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