Geranylgeranylation is a form of prenylation, which is a post-translational modification of proteins that involves the attachment of one or two 20-carbon lipophilic geranylgeranyl isoprene units from geranylgeranyl diphosphate to one or two cysteine residue(s) at the C-terminus of specific proteins. Prenylation (including geranylgeranylation) is thought to function, at least in part, as a membrane anchor for proteins.[1]

The process of geranylgeranylation can be catalyzed by either geranylgeranyl transferase I (GGTase I) or Rab GGTase (also GGTase II). GGTase I catalyzes the addition of one geranylgeranyl group onto the C-terminal consensus sequence CAAL (somewhat similar to farnesyltransferase reactions), where C=cysteine, A=any aliphatic amino acid, and L=leucine. Rab GGTase adds a total of two geranylgeranyl groups onto two cysteine residues at the C-terminal consensus sequence CXC or XXCC. The source of the geranylgeranyl group is geranylgeranyl diphosphate, which is synthesized by GGPS1 within the isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway.[2]

An example of this can be seen in the lipid anchoring of the Rho GTPase family of signaling molecules and the gamma subunit of heterotrimeric G proteins.


  1. ^ Jiang, Yu; Proteau, Philip; Poulter, Dale; Ferro-Novick, Susan (1995). "BTS1 Encodes a Geranylgeranyl Diphosphate Synthase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae". Journal of Biological Chemistry. 270 (37): 21793–21799. doi:10.1074/jbc.270.37.21793. PMID 7665600.
  2. ^ Wiemer, Andrew J.; Hohl, Raymond J.; Wiemer, David F. (2009). "The intermediate enzymes of isoprenoid metabolism as anticancer targets". Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry. 9 (5): 526–542. doi:10.2174/187152009788451860. PMID 19519294.