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Tracing the evolution of the heterotrimeric G protein α subunit in Metazoa.


Lokits ADA D , Indrischek H H , Meiler J J , Hamm HE H E , Stadler PF P F . BMC evolutionary biology. 2018 4 11; 18(1). 51


Heterotrimeric G proteins are fundamental signaling proteins composed of three subunits, Gα and a Gβγ dimer. The role of Gα as a molecular switch is critical for transmitting and amplifying intracellular signaling cascades initiated by an activated G protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR). Despite their biochemical and therapeutic importance, the study of G protein evolution has been limited to the scope of a few model organisms. Furthermore, of the five primary Gα subfamilies, the underlying gene structure of only two families has been thoroughly investigated outside of Mammalia evolution. Therefore our understanding of Gα emergence and evolution across phylogeny remains incomplete.