ESF Eurocores SONS Project NanoSMAP


The abbreviation GPCRs stands for G protein-coupled receptors. GPCRs are a type of membrane proteins which interact with the environment both inside and outside of the cell. Ligands bind to the part of the GPCR on the outside of the cell, activating the GPCR by allowing it to bind to a G protein, and thereby triggering a series of events within the cell. GPCRs are involved in a wide variety of physiological processes, from the sense of smell, the visual sense, regulation of mood and behavior, regulation of immune system activity and inflammation, autonome nervous system transmission (affecting, for example, heart rate, blood pressure, and digestive processes) and cell density sensing. Thus it follows that GPCRs play an important role in many disease processes – today, more than a third of all medicinal drugs target GPCRs. As more functions for the GPCRs are discovered, the number of drugs targeting GPCrs are expected to increase further. The GPCRs may also play a role in diagnostics and prognostics.

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