Progress in elucidating the structural and dynamic character of G Protein-Coupled Receptor oligomers for use in drug discovery

Curr Pharm Des. 2009;15(35):4017-25. doi: 10.2174/138161209789824768.


G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) are the most targeted group of proteins for the development of therapeutic drugs. Until the last decade, structural information about this family of membrane proteins was relatively scarce, and their mechanisms of ligand binding and signal transduction were modeled on the assumption that GPCRs existed and functioned as monomeric entities. New crystal structures of native and engineered GPCRs, together with important biochemical and biophysical data that reveal structural details of the activation mechanism(s) of this receptor family, provide a valuable framework to improve dynamic molecular models of GPCRs with the ultimate goal of elucidating their allostery and functional selectivity. Since the dynamic movements of single GPCR protomers are likely to be affected by the presence of neighboring interacting subunits, oligomeric arrangements should be taken into account to improve the predictive ability of computer-assisted structural models of GPCRs for effective use in drug design.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Drug Design*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / chemistry*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Ligands
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled