Constitutively signaling G-protein-coupled receptors and human disease

Trends Endocrinol Metab. Jan-Feb 1998;9(1):27-31. doi: 10.1016/s1043-2760(98)00007-1.


Dysregulation of G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) function has been shown to be associated with a growing number of human diseases. In some diseases, mutation of an endogenous GPCR causes the receptor to lose the ability to bind agonist or signal (;loss of function' mutation), whereas another mutation causes the receptor to be in an active state in the absence of agonist (;gain of function' mutation), leading to ;constitutive signaling activity'. A number of constitutively active GPCRs are tumorigenic in vitro and in animal models, and cause syndromes of hyperfunction and/or tumors in humans. The recent characterization of a constitutively active GPCR in the genome of a disease-associated, human herpesvirus provides a potential novel mechanism for viral tumorigenesis.