It is now acknowledged that G protein–coupled receptors, the largest class of drug targets, adopt multiple active states that can be preferentially stabilized by orthosteric ligands or allosteric modulators, thus giving rise to the phenomenon of pathway-biased signaling. In the past few years, researchers have begun to explore the potential of linking orthosteric and allosteric pharmacophores to yield bitopic hybrid ligands. This approach is an extension of the more traditional bivalent ligand concept and shares some of the same challenges, including the choice and role of the linker between the two pharmacophores and the validation of mechanism of action. Nonetheless, the promise of bitopic ligands is the generation of novel chemical tools that have improved affinity and/or selectivity profiles. Previously identified functionally selective compounds (and medicines) also may act via a bitopic mechanism, suggesting that the phenomenon is more widespread than currently appreciated.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error