Integrating structural and mutagenesis data to elucidate GPCR ligand binding

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2016 Oct;30:51-58. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2016.07.003. Epub 2016 Jul 29.


G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent the largest family of human membrane proteins, as well as drug targets. A recent boom in GPCR structural biology has provided detailed images of receptor ligand binding sites and interactions on the molecular level. An ever-increasing number of ligands is reported that exhibit activity through multiple receptors, binding in allosteric sites, and bias towards different intracellular signalling pathways. Furthermore, a wealth of single point mutants has accumulated in literature and public databases. Integrating these structural and mutagenesis data will help elucidate new GPCR ligand binding sites, and ultimately design drugs with tailored pharmacological activity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Site
  • Binding Sites
  • Drug Design*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Mutagenesis
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • Point Mutation
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / chemistry
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Ligands
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled