Bethany A. Reinecke, Huiqun Wang and Yan Zhang * Pages 2378 - 2392 ( 15 )
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent the largest family of proteins targeted by drug design and discovery efforts. Of these efforts, the development of GPCR agonists is highly desirable, due to their therapeutic robust utility in treating diseases caused by deficient receptor signaling. One of the challenges in designing potent and selective GPCR agonists lies in the inability to achieve combined high binding affinity and subtype selectivity, due to the high homology between orthosteric sites among GPCR subtypes. To combat this difficulty, researchers have begun to explore the utility of targeting topographically distinct and less conserved binding sites, namely “allosteric” sites. Pursuing these sites offers the benefit of achieving high subtype selectivity, however, it also can result in a decreased binding affinity and potency as compared to orthosteric agonists. Therefore, bitopic ligands comprised of an orthosteric agonist and an allosteric modulator connected by a spacer and allowing binding with both the orthosteric and allosteric sites within one receptor, have been developed. It may combine the high subtype selectivity of an allosteric modulator with the high binding affinity of an orthosteric agonist and provides desired advantages over orthosteric agonists or allosteric modulators alone. Herein, we review the recent advances in the development of bitopic agonists/activators for various GPCR targets and their novel therapeutic potentials.
G protein-coupled receptors, Orthosteric site, Allosteric site, Binding affinity, Subtype selectivity, Bitopic activator.
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Virginia Commonwealth University, 800 East Leigh Street, Richmond, VA 23298, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Virginia Commonwealth University, 800 East Leigh Street, Richmond, VA 23298, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Virginia Commonwealth University, 800 East Leigh Street, Richmond, VA 23298