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Pharmacol Rev. 2006 Dec;58(4):798-836.

International Union of Pharmacology. LXVI. Orphan nuclear receptors.

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Unité Mixte de Recherche 5161 du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique 1237, Institut Fédératif de Recherche 128 BioSciences Lyon-Gerland, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon, France.


Half of the members of the nuclear receptors superfamily are so-called "orphan" receptors because the identity of their ligand, if any, is unknown. Because of their important biological roles, the study of orphan receptors has attracted much attention recently and has resulted in rapid advances that have helped in the discovery of novel signaling pathways. In this review we present the main features of orphan receptors, discuss the structure of their ligand-binding domains and their biological functions. The paradoxical existence of a pharmacology of orphan receptors, a rapidly growing and innovative field, is highlighted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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