The evolution of regulators of G protein signalling proteins as drug targets - 20 years in the making: IUPHAR Review 21

Br J Pharmacol. 2017 Mar;174(6):427-437. doi: 10.1111/bph.13716. Epub 2017 Feb 8.


Regulators of G protein signalling (RGS) proteins are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their discovery. The unveiling of this new family of negative regulators of G protein signalling in the mid-1990s solved a persistent conundrum in the G protein signalling field, in which the rate of deactivation of signalling cascades in vivo could not be replicated in exogenous systems. Since then, there has been tremendous advancement in the knowledge of RGS protein structure, function, regulation and their role as novel drug targets. RGS proteins play an important modulatory role through their GTPase-activating protein (GAP) activity at active, GTP-bound Gα subunits of heterotrimeric G proteins. They also possess many non-canonical functions not related to G protein signalling. Here, an update on the status of RGS proteins as drug targets is provided, highlighting advances that have led to the inclusion of RGS proteins in the IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY database of drug targets.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Drug Discovery*
  • Humans
  • RGS Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • RGS Proteins / metabolism*


  • RGS Proteins