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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2014 Feb;13(2):123-39. doi: 10.1038/nrd4189. Epub 2014 Jan 21.

Herpesvirus-encoded GPCRs: neglected players in inflammatory and proliferative diseases?

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Amsterdam Institute for Molecules Medicines and Systems, Division of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1083, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Herpesviruses encode membrane-associated G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in their viral genomes that are structurally similar to chemokine receptors. These GPCRs hijack GPCR-mediated cellular signalling networks of the host for survival, replication and pathogenesis. In particular the herpesvirus-encoded chemokine receptors ORF74, BILF1 and US28, which are present at inflammatory sites and tumour cells, provide important virus-specific targets for directed therapies. Given the high druggability of GPCRs in general, these viral GPCRs can be considered promising antiviral drug targets.

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