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Sci Rep. 2019 Apr 16;9(1):6180. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-42618-8.

Analysis of tractable allosteric sites in G protein-coupled receptors.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, Boston University, Boston, MA, 02215, USA.
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MA, 02215, USA.
3
Sosei Heptares, Steinmetz Building, Granta Park, Great Abington, Cambridge, CB21 6DG, UK.
4
Department of Chemistry, Boston University, Boston, MA, 02215, USA. vajda@bu.edu.
5
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MA, 02215, USA. vajda@bu.edu.
6
Medicinal Chemistry Research Group, Research Center for Natural Sciences, Magyar tudósok krt. 2, H-1117, Budapest, Hungary. gy.keseru@ttk.mta.hu.

Abstract

Allosteric modulation of G protein-coupled receptors represent a promising mechanism of pharmacological intervention. Dramatic developments witnessed in the structural biology of membrane proteins continue to reveal that the binding sites of allosteric modulators are widely distributed, including along protein surfaces. Here we restrict consideration to intrahelical and intracellular sites together with allosteric conformational locks, and show that the protein mapping tools FTMap and FTSite identify 83% and 88% of such experimentally confirmed allosteric sites within the three strongest sites found. The methods were also able to find partially hidden allosteric sites that were not fully formed in X-ray structures crystallized in the absence of allosteric ligands. These results confirm that the intrahelical sites capable of binding druglike allosteric modulators are among the strongest ligand recognition sites in a large fraction of GPCRs and suggest that both FTMap and FTSite are useful tools for identifying allosteric sites and to aid in the design of such compounds in a range of GPCR targets.

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