Regulators of G protein signaling (RGS proteins): novel central nervous system drug targets

J Pept Res. 2002 Dec;60(6):312-6. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-3011.2002.21064.x.


Many drugs of abuse signal through receptors that couple to G proteins (GPCRs), so the factors that control GPCR signaling are likely to be important to the understanding of drug abuse. Contributions by the recently identified protein family, regulators of G protein signaling (RGS) to the control of GPCR function are just beginning to be understood. RGS proteins can accelerate the deactivation of G proteins by 1000-fold and in cell systems they profoundly inhibit signaling by many receptors, including mu-opioid receptors. Coupled with the known dynamic regulation of RGS protein expression and function, they are of obvious interest in understanding tolerance and dependence mechanisms. Furthermore, drugs that could inhibit their activity could be useful in preventing the development of or in treating drug dependence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System Agents / pharmacology*
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression / physiology
  • Humans
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • RGS Proteins / physiology*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / metabolism


  • Central Nervous System Agents
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • RGS Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • GTP-Binding Proteins