It also has the role of a source of energy or an activator of substrates in metabolic reactions, like that of ATP, but more specific. It is used as a source of energy for protein synthesis and gluconeogenesis.
GTP is involved in energy transfer within the cell. For instance, a GTP molecule is generated by one of the enzymes in the citric acid cycle. This is tantamount to the generation of one molecule of ATP, since GTP is readily converted to ATP.
Genetic translation[edit source | edit]
During the elongation stage of translation, GTP is used as an energy source for the binding of a new amino-bound tRNA to the A site of the ribosome. GTP is also used as an energy source for the translocation of the ribosome towards the 3' end of the mRNA.
During microtubule polymerization, each heterodimer formed by an alpha and a beta tubulin molecule carries two GTP molecules, and the GTP is hydrolyzed to GDP when the tubulin dimers are added to the plus end of the growing microtubule. Such GTP hydrolysis is not mandatory for microtubule formation, but it appears that only GDP-bound tubulin molecules are able to depolymerize. Thus, a GTP-bound tubulin serves as a cap at the tip of microtubule to protect from depolymerization; and once the GTP is hydrolyzed, the microtubule begins to depolymerize and shrink rapidly.
Mitochondrial Function[edit source | edit]
The translocation of proteins into the mitochondria matrix involves the interactions of both GTP and ATP. The import of these proteins plays an important role in several pathways regulated within the mitochondria organelle.
^Sepuri, Naresh Babu V.; Norbert Schülke and Debkumar Pain (16). "GTP Hydrolysis Is Essential for Protein Import into the Mitochondrial Matrix". Journal of Biological Chemistry (273): 1420–1424. doi:10.1074/jbc.273.3.1420.
^Boron & Boulpaep (2005). Medical Physiology (Updated edition ed.). Elsevier Saunders. p. 90. ISBN1-4160-2328-3.