Inhibition and termination of physiological responses by GTPase activating proteins

Erzsébet Ligeti, Stefan Welti, Klaus Scheffzek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)


Physiological processes are strictly organized in space and time. However, in cell physiology research, more attention is given to the question of space rather than to time. To function as a signal, environmental changes must be restricted in time; they need not only be initiated but also terminated. In this review, we concentrate on the role of one specific protein family involved in biological signal termination. GTPase activating proteins (GAPs) accelerate the endogenously low GTP hydrolysis rate of monomeric guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (GNBPs), limiting thereby their prevalence in the active, GTP-bound form. We discuss cases where defective or excessive GAP activity of specific proteins causes significant alteration in the function of the nervous, endocrine, and hemopoietic systems, or contributes to development of infections and tumors. Biochemical and genetic data as well as observations from human pathology support the notion that GAPs represent vital elements in the spatiotemporal fine tuning of physiological processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-272
Number of pages36
JournalPhysiological reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology (medical)

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