G-protein-coupled receptors and their (Bio) chemical significance win 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Biomed J. 2013 May-Jun;36(3):118-24. doi: 10.4103/2319-4170.113233.


G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are seven transmembrane cell surface proteins specialized in cellular communication. These receptors represent a major gateway through which cells convert external cues into intracellular signals and respond with appropriate actions. While the effects of hormones, neurotransmitters, and drugs on cells, tissues, organs, and even whole organisms are well described, the molecular identity of the direct targets and the diverse signaling mechanisms of these biological ligands have been slow and hard to define. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the year 2012 acknowledges the importance of GPCRs in these processes, especially for the contribution of Profs Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka to the studies of GPCRs. In this brief review, the seminal works accomplished by the two GPCR pioneers are summarized and the (bio) chemical significance of GPCRs in health and disease is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Nobel Prize*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / chemistry
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled