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G Protein Pathways

The heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide–binding proteins (G proteins) are signal transducers that communicate signals from many hormones, neurotransmitters, chemokines, and autocrine and paracrine factors. The extracellular signals are received by members of a large superfamily of receptors with seven membrane-spanning regions that activate the G proteins, which route the signals to several distinct intracellular signaling pathways. These pathways interact with one another to form a network that regulates metabolic enzymes, ion channels, transporters, and other components of the cellular machinery controlling a broad range of cellular processes, including transcription, motility, contractility, and secretion. These cellular processes in turn regulate systemic functions such as embryonic development, gonadal development, learning and memory, and organismal homeostasis.

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