Author(s): De Amici M, Dallanoce C, Holzgrabe U, Trnkle C, Mohr K
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Abstract Allosteric receptor ligands bind to a recognition site that is distinct from the binding site of the endogenous messenger molecule. As a consequence, allosteric agents may attach to receptors that are already transmitter-bound. Ternary complex formation opens an avenue to qualitatively new drug actions at G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), in particular receptor subtype selective potentiation of endogenous transmitter action. Consequently, suitable exploitation of allosteric recognition sites as alternative molecular targets could pave the way to a drug discovery paradigm different from those aimed at mimicking or blocking the effects of endogenous (orthosteric) receptor activators. The number of allosteric ligands reported to modulate GPCR function is steadily increasing and some have already reached routine clinical use. This review aims at introducing into this fascinating field of drug discovery and at providing an overview about the achievements that have already been made. Various case examples will be discussed in the framework of GPCR classification (family A, B, and C receptors). In addition, the behavior at muscarinic receptors of hybrid derivatives incorporating both an allosteric and an orthosteric fragment in a common molecular skeleton will be illustrated.
This article was published in Med Res Rev
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology