Effect of Li+ upon the Mg2+-dependent activation of recombinant Giα1

Nicole Minadeo, Brian Layden, Louis V. Amari, Victoria Thomas, Karrie Radloff, Chandra Srinivasan, Duarte Mota de Freitas, Heidi E. Hamm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Although lithium salts have been used in the treatment and prophylaxis of manic-depressive or bipolar patients for 50 years, the mechanism of the pharmacologic action of Li+ is unknown. Based on activity studies of inhibitory and stimulatory guanine-binding (G) proteins in rat cortical membranes, it was proposed that Li+ inhibition of G-proteins may account for its pharmacologic action. We used the purified α subunit of the recombinant inhibitory G-protein, rGiα1, and found that Li+ at therapeutic levels significantly inhibited the formation of the GDP.AlF4.rGiα1 complex. Because our studies were conducted with a purified, metal-reconstituted G-protein rather than with cell membrane suspensions, our Li+ inhibition results lend additional support to the G-protein hypothesis for Li+ action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of biochemistry and biophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2001


  • Fluorescence spectroscopy
  • G-proteins
  • Li/Mg competition
  • rG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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