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FEBS J. 2005 Jun;272(12):2914-25.

Methods to monitor the quaternary structure of G protein-coupled receptors.

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Molecular Pharmacology Group, Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK.


A wide range of approaches has been applied to examine the quaternary structure of G protein-coupled receptors, the basis of such protein-protein interactions and how such interactions might modulate the pharmacology and function of these receptors. These include co-immunoprecipitation, various adaptations of resonance energy transfer techniques, functional complementation studies and the analysis of ligand-binding data. Each of the available techniques has limitations that restrict interpretation of the data. However, taken together, they provide a coherent body of evidence indicating that many, if not all, G protein-coupled receptors exist and function as dimer/oligomers. Herein we assess the widely applied techniques and discuss the relative benefits and limitations of these approaches.

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