Heterotrimeric guanosine 5'-triphosphate (GTP)-binding proteins (G proteins) are deactivated by hydrolysis of the GTP that they bind when activated by transmembrane receptors. Transducin, the G protein that relays visual excitation from rhodopsin to the cyclic guanosine 3',5'-monophosphate phosphodiesterase (PDE) in retinal photoreceptors, must be deactivated for the light response to recover. A point mutation in the γ subunit of PDE impaired transducin-PDE interactions and slowed the recovery rate of the flash response in transgenic mouse rods. These results indicate that the normal deactivation of transducin in vivo requires the G protein to interact with its target enzyme.
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