G protein
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  G protein



G protein

   These molecules have been described as "biological traffic lights." Located inside the cell, G proteins are able respond to signals outside the cell -- light, smell, hormones -- and translate (transduce) these signals into action within the cell.

RELATED TERMS
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Cell
Fundamental structural unit of all life. The cell consists primarily of an outer plasma membrane, which separates it from the environment; the genetic material (DNA), which encodes heritable information for the maintainance of life; and the cytoplasm, a heterogeneous assemblage of ions, molecules, and fluid.

Hormones
Biological compounds that communicate information at a distance. Hormones require specific receptors to begin their biological action and use second messengers to initiate the cellular process that uses that information.



SIMILAR TERMS
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Gene Therapy
Gene therapy is correcting functional gene loss by delivering genes to human tissues. Often DNA viruses engineered to be safe or nonviral DNA are used to help deliver a healthy gene to the tissue cells.

Gingival Hypertrophy
Enlargement of the gums. A common side effect of the medication cyclosporine (Sandimmune), this condition is easily managed with good oral hygiene.

Great Vessels
The large blood vessels that enter the heart: the aorta, the pulmonary artery and vein, and the venae cavae.

G
G stands for guanine, one member of the base pair G-C (guanine-cytosine) in the DNA. The other base pair in the DNA is A-T (adenine-thymine). Each base pair forms a "rung of the DNA ladder." A DNA nucleotide is made of a molecule of sugar, a molecule of phosphoric acid, and a molecule called a base. The bases are the "letters" that spell out the genetic code. In DNA, the code letters are A, T, G, and C, which stand for the chemicals adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine, respectively. In base pairing, adenine always pairs with thymine, and guanine always pairs with cytosine.

G (drug caution code)
Abbreviation on a medication that stands for "glaucoma" and indicates the medication can cause problems for a person with this eye disorder. Further, a person with glaucoma might see the generic "C" code on a prescription bottle or vial if the medication might raise the pressure within the eye.

G protein

G-CSF
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. A colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell). G-CSF is a cytokine that belongs to the family of drugs called hematopoietic (blood-forming) agents.

G6PD deficiency
Deficiency of the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), the most common enzyme defect of medical importance. About 10 percent of American black males have G6PD deficiency, as do a lesser percent of black females. G6PD deficiency is also increased in frequency in people of Mediterranean origin (including Italians, Greeks, Arabs, and Jews). The gene encoding G6PD is on the X chromosome. Males with this enzyme deficiency may develop anemia due to the breakup of their red blood cells when they are exposed to oxidant drugs, naphthalene moth balls, or fava beans. The offending drugs include the antimalarial primaquine, salicylates, sulfonamide antibiotics, nitrofurans, phenacetin, and some vitamin K derivatives. Fever, viral and bacterial infections, and diabetic acidosis can also precipitate a hemolytic crisis (when the red blood cells break up), resulting in anemia and jaundice. The concentration of G6PD deficiency in certain populations is believed to reflect a protective effect it afforded (much like sickle cell trait) against malaria.

GAD
Generalized anxiety disorder.

Gain-of-function mutation
A mutation that confers new or enhanced activity on a protein. Loss-of-function mutations, which are more common, result in reduced or abolished protein function.

Galeophobia
An abnormally large and persistent fear of sharks. Sufferers from this phobia experience anxiety even though they may be safe on a boat or in an aquarium or on a beach. Hollywood films depicting sharks as calculating, vengeful diabolical monsters have no doubt enkindled the fear of sharks in many persons. So have validated reports of sharks venturing into rivers and lakes.

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