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Nihon Rinsho. 1998 Jul;56(7):1658-66.

[Recent progress in clinical aspects of receptor research].

[Article in Japanese]


Clinical receptology encompasses broad areas, including receptor or postreceptor defects due to mutations of receptor or other genes, abnormalities due to receptor antibodies and secondary changes of receptors under various pathological conditions. Recent progress in molecular biology has succeeded in cloning genes of receptors, G-proteins and other cellular proteins that are involved in the signal transduction and clarified their germ-line and somatic mutations. It is of importance that mutations of receptors and G-proteins do not necessarily cause loss of function but sometimes cause gain of function of receptors or G-proteins, thus leading to hyperfunction. Molecular basis that causes either loss or gain of function has been studied but is not completely understood. Some examples of gain of function mutatious of G-protein coupled receptors, tyrosin kinase-type receptors and G alpha protein are shown. Another important aspect in receptor research is that mutation of a single receptor gene sometimes result in different phenotypes and even different modes of inheritance. For example, mutations of rhodopsin (a G-protein coupled receptor) gene cause retinitis pigmentosa of autosomal dominant type and autosomal recessive type and also cause congenital stationary night blindness. Exact mechanisms responsible for such differences are not completely understood. There are polymorphisms in some genes that may be involved in some diseases. An example is a polymorphism in beta 3-adrenergic receptor that is claimed but not clearly demonstrated to be a cause of obesity or type II diabetes. Such polymorphism is possibly a gene in polygenic diseases. Receptology is important for elucidating pathogenesis of complex diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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