An overview on GPCRs and drug discovery: structure-based drug design and structural biology on GPCRs

Methods Mol Biol. 2009:552:51-66. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60327-317-6_4.


G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent 50-60% of the current drug targets. There is no doubt that this family of membrane proteins plays a crucial role in drug discovery today. Classically, a number of drugs based on GPCRs have been developed for such different indications as cardiovascular, metabolic, neurodegenerative, psychiatric, and oncologic diseases. Owing to the restricted structural information on GPCRs, only limited exploration of structure-based drug design has been possible. Much effort has been dedicated to structural biology on GPCRs and very recently an X-ray structure of the beta2-adrenergic receptor was obtained. This breakthrough will certainly increase the efforts in structural biology on GPCRs and furthermore speed up and facilitate the drug discovery process.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Combinatorial Chemistry Techniques
  • Drug Design*
  • Drug Discovery*
  • Humans
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / chemistry*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / physiology*


  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled