Catalyzes the conversion of inosine 5'-phosphate (IMP) to xanthosine 5'-phosphate (XMP), the first committed and rate-limiting step in the de novo synthesis of guanine nucleotides, and therefore plays an important role in the regulation of cell growth. Could also have a single-stranded nucleic acid-binding activity and could play a role in RNA and/or DNA metabolism. It may also have a role in the development of malignancy and the growth progression of some tumors.
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