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The past two years have seen remarkable advances in the structural biology of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Highlights have
 

Summary: The past two years have seen remarkable advances in the structural
biology of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Highlights have
included solving the first crystal structures of ligand-activated
GPCRs--the human 2 adrenergic receptor (2AR), the avian 1AR and
the human A2A adenosine receptor--as well as the structures of opsin
and an active form of rhodopsin. These successes followed decades of
effort by many laboratories across the world, and are of great interest
from the perspectives of membrane-protein biophysics, cell biology,
physiology and drug discovery.
GPCRs are the largest family of membrane proteins and mediate
most cellular responses to hormones and neurotransmitters, as well
as being responsible for vision, olfaction and taste. At the most basic
level, all GPCRs are characterized by the presence of seven membrane-
spanning -helical segments separated by alternating intracellular and
extracellular loop regions. GPCRs in vertebrates are commonly divided
into five families on the basis of their sequence and structural similar-
ity1
: rhodopsin (family A), secretin (family B), glutamate (family C),
adhesion and Frizzled/Taste2. The rhodopsin family is by far the largest
and most diverse of these families, and members are characterized by

  

Source: Alford, Simon - Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine