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Pathophysiology of GPCR Homo- and Heterodimerization: Special Emphasis on Somatostatin Receptors

Author(s): Rishi K. Somvanshi | Ujendra Kumar

Journal: Pharmaceuticals
ISSN 1424-8247

Volume: 5;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 417;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: somatostatin | somatostatin receptors | heterodimerization | G proteins | GPCRs | Pb-FRET

G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are cell surface proteins responsible for translating >80% of extracellular reception to intracellular signals. The extracellular information in the form of neurotransmitters, peptides, ions, odorants etc is converted to intracellular signals via a wide variety of effector molecules activating distinct downstream signaling pathways. All GPCRs share common structural features including an extracellular N-terminal, seven-transmembrane domains (TMs) linked by extracellular/intracellular loops and the C-terminal tail. Recent studies have shown that most GPCRs function as dimers (homo- and/or heterodimers) or even higher order of oligomers. Protein-protein interaction among GPCRs and other receptor proteins play a critical role in the modulation of receptor pharmacology and functions. Although ~50% of the current drugs available in the market target GPCRs, still many GPCRs remain unexplored as potential therapeutic targets, opening immense possibility to discover the role of GPCRs in pathophysiological conditions. This review explores the existing information and future possibilities of GPCRs as tools in clinical pharmacology and is specifically focused for the role of somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) in pathophysiology of diseases and as the potential candidate for drug discovery.
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