Mechanisms of peptide and nonpeptide ligand binding to Class B G-protein-coupled receptors

Drug Discov Today. 2005 Mar 15;10(6):417-27. doi: 10.1016/S1359-6446(05)03370-2.


Class B G-protein-coupled receptors are a small family of 15 peptide-binding receptors. This family includes at least six biologically attractive therapeutic targets for both peptide ligands (osteoporosis and Type II diabetes) and nonpeptide ligands (anxiety, depression and migraine). A general mechanism of peptide binding has emerged for this receptor family, termed the two-domain model. In this mechanism, the C-terminal ligand region binds the extracellular N-terminal domain of the receptor. This interaction acts as an affinity trap, promoting interaction of the N-terminal ligand region with the juxtamembrane domain of the receptor. Peptide binding to the juxtamembrane domain activates the receptor and stimulates intracellular signaling. Nonpeptide ligands bind the juxtamembrane or N-terminal domain and, in most cases, allosterically modulate peptide-ligand binding. Here, these mechanisms of peptide and nonpeptide ligand binding are reviewed, then applied in a discussion of the future strategies of drug development for Class B G-protein-coupled receptors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Regulation
  • Animals
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Models, Molecular
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / metabolism*
  • Peptides / pharmacology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / chemistry
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / drug effects
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*


  • Ligands
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled