Class A G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) dimers and bivalent ligands

J Med Chem. 2013 Sep 12;56(17):6542-59. doi: 10.1021/jm4004335. Epub 2013 Jun 4.


G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent the largest family of membrane proteins involved in cellular signal transduction and are activated by various different ligand types including photons, peptides, proteins, but also small molecules like biogenic amines. Therefore, GPCRs are involved in diverse physiological processes and provide valuable drug targets for numerous diseases. Emerging body of evidence suggests that GPCRs exist as monomers or cross-react forming dimers and higher-ordered oligomers. In this Perspective we will review current biochemical and biophysical techniques to visualize GPCR dimerization, functional consequences of homo- and heterodimers, and approaches of medicinal chemists to target these receptor complexes with homo- and heterobivalent ligands.

MeSH terms

  • Biophysics
  • Dimerization
  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer
  • Ligands
  • Models, Molecular
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / chemistry*


  • Ligands
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled