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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007 Apr;1768(4):825-35. Epub 2006 Sep 30.

G protein-coupled receptor dimerisation: molecular basis and relevance to function.

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  • 1Molecular Pharmacology Group, Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. g.milligan@bio.gla.ac.uk


The belief that G protein-coupled receptors exist and function as monomeric, non-interacting species has been largely supplanted in recent years by evidence, derived from a range of approaches, that indicate they can form dimers and/or higher-order oligomeric complexes. Key roles for receptor homo-dimerisation include effective quality control of protein folding prior to plasma membrane delivery and interactions with hetero-trimeric G proteins. Growing evidence has also indicated the potential for many co-expressed G protein-coupled receptors to form hetero-dimers/oligomers. The relevance of this to physiology and function is only beginning to be unravelled but may offer great potential for more selective therapeutic intervention.

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