Critical Reviews in Microbiology vol:40 issue:3 pages:207-224
Obg proteins (also known as ObgE, YhbZ and CgtA) are conserved P-loop GTPases, essential for growth in bacteria. Like other GTPases, Obg proteins cycle between a GTP-bound ON and a GDP-bound OFF state, thereby controlling cellular processes. Interestingly, the in vitro biochemical properties of Obg proteins suggest that they act as sensors for the cellular GDP/GTP pools and adjust their activity according to the cellular energy status. Obg proteins have been attributed a host of cellular functions, including roles in essential cellular processes (DNA replication, ribosome maturation) and roles in different stress adaptation pathways (stringent response, sporulation, general stress response). This review summarizes the current knowledge on Obg activity and function. Furthermore, we present a model that integrates the different functions of Obg by assigning it a fundamental role in cellular physiology, at the hub of protein and DNA synthesis. In particular, we believe that Obg proteins might provide a connection between different global pathways in order to fine-tune cellular processes in response to a given energy status.