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Centaurins are a family of proteins that contain GTPase-activating protein domains, with the γ family members containing in addition a GTPase-like domain. Centaurins reside mainly in the nucleus and are known to activate phosphoinositide 3-kinase, a key regulator of cell proliferation, motility and vesicular trafficking. In the present study, using X-ray structural analysis, enzymatic assays and nucleotide-binding studies, we show that, for CENTG1 (centaurin γ-1) the GTPase-like domain has broader trinucleotide specificity. Alterations within the G4 motif of CENTG1 from the highly conserved NKXD found in typical GTPases to TQDR result in the loss of specificity, a lower affinity for the nucleotides and higher turnover rates. These results indicate that the centaurins could be more accurately classified as NTPases and point to alternative mechanisms of cell signalling control.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochemical Journal


Portland Press Ltd.

Publication Date





679 - 688