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Targeting receptor proteins, such as ligand-gated ion channels and G protein-coupled receptors, has directly enabled the discovery of most drugs developed to modulate receptor signalling. However, as the search for novel and improved drugs continues, an innovative approach - targeting receptor complexes - is emerging. Receptor complexes are composed of core receptor proteins and receptor-associated proteins, which have profound effects on the overall receptor structure, function and localization. Hence, targeting key protein-protein interactions within receptor complexes provides an opportunity to develop more selective drugs with fewer side effects. In this Review, we discuss our current understanding of ligand-gated ion channel and G protein-coupled receptor complexes and discuss strategies for their pharmacological modulation. Although such strategies are still in preclinical development for most receptor complexes, they exemplify how receptor complexes can be drugged, and lay the groundwork for this nascent area of research.

Citation

Mette Ishøy Rosenbaum, Louise S Clemmensen, David S Bredt, Bernhard Bettler, Kristian Strømgaard. Targeting receptor complexes: a new dimension in drug discovery. Nature reviews. Drug discovery. 2020 Dec;19(12):884-901

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PMID: 33177699

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