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Homology Modeling of G-Protein-Coupled Receptors and Implications in Drug Design

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G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are considered therapeutically important due to their involvement in a variety of processes governing several cellular functions, and their tractability as drug targets. A large percentage of drugs on the market, and in development stages, target the super family of the GPCRs. The enormous interest in GPCR drug design is, however, limited by the scarcity of structural information. The only GPCR for which a three dimensional (3D) structure is reported is bovine rhodopsin and it belongs to class A of the GPCR family. As a result, there has been considerable interest in alternative techniques, for example, homology modeling of GPCRs, in order to derive useful three dimensional models of other proteins for use in structure-based drug design. However, homology modeling of GPCRs is not straightforward, and encounters several problems, owing to the availability of a single structural template, as well as the low degree of sequence homology between the template and target sequences. There are several key issues which need to be considered during every stage of GPCR homology modeling, in order to derive reasonable 3D models. Homology modeling of GPCRs has been utilized increasingly in the past few years and has been successful, not only in furthering the understanding of ligand-protein interactions, but also in the identification of new and potent ligands. Thus, with the lessons learned from past experiences and new developments, homology modeling in case of GPCRs can be harnessed for developing more reliable three dimensional models. This, in turn, will provide better tools to use in structure-based drug design leading to the identification of novel and potent GPCR ligands for several therapeutic indications.
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Keywords: Drug design; G-protein-coupled receptors; Homology modeling; Transmembrane domain

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Medicinal Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, USA.

Publication date: 2006-06-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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