The award of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka for their work on the structure and function of GPCRs, spanning a period of more than 20 years from the cloning of the human β2 -adrenoceptor to determining the crystal structure of the same protein, has earned both researchers a much deserved place in the pantheon of major scientific discoveries. GPCRs comprise one of the largest families of proteins, controlling many major physiological processes and have been a major focus of the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology Committee on Receptor Nomenclature and Drug Classification (NC-IUPHAR) since its inception in 1987. We report here recent efforts by the British Pharmacological Society and NC-IUPHAR to define the endogenous ligands of 'orphan' GPCRs and to place authoritative and accessible information about these crucial therapeutic targets online.
Keywords: chemerin receptor; chemokine receptors; free fatty acid receptors; hydroxycarboxylic acid receptors; lysophosphatidic acid receptors; oxoglutarate receptor; succinate receptor.
© 2013 The British Pharmacological Society.