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The Discovery of G Proteins

 Martin Rodbell and his collaborators found that a transducer provided the link between the hormone receptor (the discriminator) and the amplifier. Alfred G. Gilman and his co-workers used genetic and biochemical techniques to identify and purify the G protein. They used lymphoma cells that normally can be activated by a receptor to form cyclic AMP.
Normal Lymphoma Cell
 A mutated lymphoma cell was found to contain a normal receptor and a normal cyclic AMP-generating enzyme but was yet unable to respond because it lacked the transducer.
This was a good system to assay purified G proteins.
Mutated Lymphoma Cell
A G protein could be isolated from normal brain tissue and inserted in the mutated cell, thereby restoring its function.




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