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Illuminating the complexity of GPCR pathway selectivity - advances in biosensor development.

Wright SC, Bouvier M

Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, H3T 1J4, Canada; Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, S17177, Stockholm, Sweden.

It should come as no surprise that G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) continue to occupy the focus of drug discovery efforts. Their widespread expression and broad role in signal transduction underline their importance in human physiology. Despite more than 800 GPCRs sharing a common architecture, unique differences govern ligand specificity and pathway selectivity. From the relatively simplified view offered by classical radioligand binding assays and contractility responses in organ baths, the road from ligand binding to biological action has become more and more complex as we learn about the molecular mediators that underly GPCR activation and translate it to physiological outcomes. In particular, the development of biosensors has evolved over the years to dissect the capacity of a given receptor to activate individual pathways. Here, we discuss how recent biosensor development has reinforced the idea that biased signaling may become mainstream in drug discovery programs.

Curr Opin Struct Biol 2021;69:142-149.

Pubmed ID: 34048988

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