Dimer-based model for heptaspanning membrane receptors

Trends Biochem Sci. 2005 Jul;30(7):360-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2005.05.010.


The existence of intramembrane receptor-receptor interactions for heptaspanning membrane receptors is now fully accepted, but a model considering dimers as the basic unit that binds to two ligand molecules is lacking. Here, we propose a two-state-dimer model in which the ligand-induced conformational changes from one component of the dimer are communicated to the other. Our model predicts cooperativity in binding, which is relevant because the other current models fail to address this phenomenon satisfactorily. Our two-state-dimer model also predicts the variety of responses elicited by full or partial agonists, neutral antagonists and inverse agonists. This model can aid our understanding of the operation of heptaspanning receptors and receptor channels, and, potentially, be important for improving the treatment of cardiovascular, neurological and neuropsychyatric diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding, Competitive*
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Dimerization
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Models, Biological*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism


  • Ligands
  • Receptors, Cell Surface