Platforms for the identification of GPCR targets, and of orthosteric and allosteric modulators

Expert Opin Drug Discov. 2010 Apr;5(4):391-403. doi: 10.1517/17460441003653163.


Areas covered in this review: The review provides a summary of old and new approaches for GPCR target identification and for the screening of molecules acting on GPCR targets. The new findings in the field are presented as well as an opinion about how these developments may help GPCR drug discovery. Importance in the field: GPCRs have been the most useful family of proteins in terms of targets for drug discovery. The expectations for GPCR target identification and discovery of new drugs acting on 'old' or 'new' GPCR targets are very high. Given the fact that the pace at which new 'GPCR drugs' appear in the market is decreasing and since the new developments in the field are not being translated into drug discovery there is a need to review the field from a critical perspective.

Take home message: To overcome the limitation of the old approaches used in GPCR target identification and drugs discovery new approaches are required. In particular successful approaches in GPCR drug discovery should take into account that the real GPCR targets for a given disease are not GPCR monomers but GPCR heteromers.

What the reader will gain: The reader will gain an overview of the strategies currently used and their pros and cons. The reader will also understand that new strategies may help in accelerating the access of GPCR into the market, and also notice that successful strategies should take advantage of the new findings in the field of GPCRs.