Structure, function, and regulation of adrenergic receptors

Protein Sci. 1993 Aug;2(8):1198-209. doi: 10.1002/pro.5560020802.


Adrenergic receptors for adrenaline and noradrenaline belong to the large multigenic family of receptors coupled to GTP-binding proteins. Three pharmacologic types have been identified: alpha 1-, alpha 2-, and beta-adrenergic receptors. Each of these has three subtypes, characterized by both structural and functional differences. The alpha 2 and beta receptors are coupled negatively and positively, respectively, to adenylyl cyclase via Gi or Gs regulatory proteins, and the alpha 1 receptors modulate phospholipase C via the Go protein. Subtype expression is regulated at the level of the gene, the mRNA, and the protein through various transcriptional and postsynthetic mechanisms. Adrenergic receptors constitute, after rhodopsin, one of the best studied models for the other receptors coupled to G proteins that are likely to display similar structural and functional properties.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Models, Structural
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Receptors, Adrenergic / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Adrenergic / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Adrenergic / metabolism*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Receptors, Adrenergic