Prior to Rodbell's award-winning research, scientists believed that
only two substances--a hormone receptor and an interior cell enzyme--were
responsible for cellular communication. Rodbell, however, discovered
that the G-protein acted as an intermediate signal transducer between
the two. Despite initial opposition, his theories gained acceptance,
and subsequently more than 20 G-proteins were identified. His research
led to better understanding of many diseases, including cholera, diabetes,
alcoholism, and cancer.
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