Genome Editing Provides New Insights into Receptor-Controlled Signalling Pathways

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2018 May;39(5):481-493. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2018 Mar 13.


Rapid developments in genome editing, based largely on CRISPR/Cas9 technologies, are offering unprecedented opportunities to eliminate the expression of single or multiple gene products in intact organisms and in model cell systems. Elimination of individual G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), both single and multiple G protein subunits, and arrestin adaptor proteins is providing new and sometimes unanticipated insights into molecular details of the regulation of cell signalling pathways and the behaviour of receptor ligands. Genome editing is certain to become a central component of therapeutic target validation, and will provide pharmacologists with new understanding of the complexities of action of novel and previously studied ligands, as well as of the transmission of signals from individual cell-surface receptors to intracellular signalling cascades.

Keywords: CRISPR/Cas9; G protein; G protein-coupled receptor; arrestin; genome editing.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems*
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits / genetics
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits / metabolism
  • Gene Editing*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics


  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled