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ACS Chem Neurosci. 2013 Apr 17;4(4):527-34. doi: 10.1021/cn400005t. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

Regulation of G protein-coupled receptors by allosteric ligands.

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Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Department of Pharmacology, Monash University, Parkville, Victoria, 3052, Australia.


Topographically distinct, druggable, allosteric sites may be present on all G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). As such, targeting these sites with synthetic small molecules offers an attractive approach to develop receptor-subtype selective chemical leads for the development of novel therapies. A crucial part of drug development is to understand the acute and chronic effects of such allosteric modulators at their corresponding GPCR target. Key regulatory processes including cell-surface delivery, endocytosis, recycling, and down-regulation tightly control the number of receptors at the surface of the cell. As many GPCR therapeutics will be administered chronically, understanding how such ligands modulate these regulatory pathways forms an essential part of the characterization of novel GPCR ligands. This is true for both orthosteric and allosteric ligands. In this Review, we summarize our current understanding of GPCR regulatory processes with a particular focus on the effects and implications of allosteric targeting of GPCRs.

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