1932

Abstract

G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) mediate the effects of numerous hormones and neurotransmitters and are major pharmacological targets. Classical studies with crude cell lysates or membrane preparations have identified the main biochemical steps involved in GPCR signaling. Moreover, recent studies on purified proteins have provided astounding details at the atomic level of the 3-D structures of receptors in multiple conformations, including in complex with G proteins and β-arrestins. However, several fundamental questions remain regarding the highly specific effects and rapid nature of GPCR signaling. Recent developments in single-molecule microscopy are providing important contributions to answering these questions. Overall, single-molecule studies have revealed unexpected levels of complexity, with receptors existing in different conformations and dynamically interacting among themselves, their signaling partners, and structural elements of the plasma membrane to produce highly localized signals in space and time. These findings may provide a new basis to develop innovative strategies to modulate GPCR function for pharmacological purposes.

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2020-01-06
2024-06-22
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