Ga q Proteins: Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutic Potential

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2017 Apr;74(8):1379-1390. doi: 10.1007/s00018-016-2405-9. Epub 2016 Nov 4.


Seven transmembrane G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) have gained much interest in recent years as it is the largest class among cell surface receptors. G proteins lie in the heart of GPCRs signalling and therefore can be therapeutically targeted to overcome complexities in GPCR responses and signalling. G proteins are classified into four families (Gi, Gs, G12/13 and Gq); Gq is further subdivided into four classes. Among them Gαq and Gαq/11 isoforms are most crucial and ubiquitously expressed; these isoforms are almost 88% similar at their amino acid sequence but may exhibit functional divergences. However, uncertainties often arise about Gαq and Gαq/11 inhibitors, these G proteins might also have suitability to the invention of novel-specific inhibitors for each isoforms. YM-254890 and UBO-QIC are discovered as potent inhibitors of Gαq functions and also investigated in thrombin protease-activated receptor (PAR)-1 inhibitors and platelet aggregation inhibition. The most likely G protein involved in PAR-1 stimulates responses is one of the Gαq family isoforms. In this review, we highlight the molecular structures and pharmacological responses of Gαq family which may reflect the biochemical and molecular role of Gαq and Gαq/11. The advanced understanding of Gαq and Gαq/11 role in GPCR signalling may shed light on our understanding on cell biology, cellular physiology and pathophysiology and also lead to the development of novel therapeutic agents for a number of diseases.

Keywords: Atherosclerosis; G Protein-coupled receptors; G alpha q; G proteins; GPCRs; Hyperelongation; Isoforms; PAR-1.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Depsipeptides / pharmacology*
  • Drug Discovery
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gq-G11 / analysis
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gq-G11 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gq-G11 / metabolism*
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Peptides, Cyclic / pharmacology*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Isoforms / analysis
  • Protein Isoforms / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*


  • Depsipeptides
  • FR900359
  • Peptides, Cyclic
  • Protein Isoforms
  • YM-254890
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gq-G11