Blog Archives

Hot Topics: TMEM163 regulates ATP-gated P2X receptor and behaviour

It is now clear that ligand-gated ion channels (LGICs) are not “stand alone” functional units, but form complexes with other components, including scaffolding proteins, regulatory proteins and enzymes. Besides their important physiological roles, these modulating proteins are also potential targets

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Accessing WHO Essential Medicines in GtoPdb

The Guide to Pharmacology (GtoPdb) currently contains data on over 10,000 different ligands which are categorised into an number of different groups or classifications. The ligand list page (https://www.guidetopharmacology.org/GRAC/LigandListForward?type=WHO-essential&database=all) provides a directory of all the ligands described in the database,

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Posted in Technical, Tutorials and Guides

Database Release 2020.3

The latest release of the Guide to PHARMACOLOGY database, version 2020.3, has now been made. A large focus of our curation over the last couple of month since our 2020.2 release We are pleased to have been able to make

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Posted in Database updates, Technical

Hot Topics: A trio of GPCR peptide publications

This post covers three recent publications with a common theme and whose authors are collaborators with GtoPdb, thus making them as a trio particularly suitable for combined review.  These are; Discovery of Human Signaling Systems: Pairing Peptides to G Protein-Coupled

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GtoPdb pre-release ligands (2020.3)

These are some of the ligands under curation (pre-release) in the Guide to Pharmacology. We expect them to be available on the website at the next database release (2020.3). Ligand ID: 10891 Name: aviptadil Comment: Aviptadil is a vasoactive intestinal

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Posted in Database updates

Database Release 2020.2

We are pleased to have been able to make an expeditious database release (version 2020.2), following on from our last update in March 2020 in order to make public new curation specifically related to SARS-CoV-2. Content Updates GtoPdb now includes

Posted in Database updates, Technical

GtoPdb pre-release ligands (2020.2)

These are some of the ligands under curation (pre-release) in the Guide to Pharmacology. We expect them to be available on the website at the next database release (2020.2 – no earlier than April 2020).  Ligand ID: 10716 Name: PRD_002214

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Posted in Database updates

Database Release 2020.1

We are pleased to announce our first database release of 2020 – version 2020.1. Coronavirus (Covid-19) We have added a new coronavirus page to the Guide to Pharmacology which aims to consolidate key pharmacological information and resources related to coronavirus.

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Posted in Database updates, Technical

Hot Topics: Virtual screening on the crystal structure of the G protein-coupled melatonin MT1 receptor reveals several new chemical scaffolds with biological activity

Melatonin targets two high-affinity receptors, MT1 and MT2, that belong to the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily (1,2). Drugs acting on melatonin receptors are subscribed for circadian disorders (jet lag, shift work, etc.), insomnia and major depression (3). All marketed

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Hot Topics: Cardiac Ca2+ Channel Regulation in the Fight-or-Flight Response: the monomeric small G-protein as another piece in the puzzle

Thirty eight years after the discovery that injection of the catalytic subunits of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) into isolated pig ventricular cardiac myocytes (1) increases the amplitude of L-type Ca2+ current (today known to be formed by Cav1.2

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Hot topics: Cannabinoid receptor stuctures

Two new reports cover further aspects of cannabinoid receptor binding as defined using cryo-EM. These expand on previous reports of the structure of the human CB1 cannabinoid receptor with the antagonists taranabant and  AM6538 bound, and with the agonists MDMB-FUBINACA,

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Hot Topics: A brief update on coronaviruses

The new respiratory coronavirus from Wuhan in China is causing intense research activity in the world. Viruses are evidently associated with respiratory infections ranging in severity from the common cold to pneumonia and death

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Hot Topics: Cryo-EM structure of a selective T-type calcium channel blocker bound to the Cav3.1 voltage-gated calcium channel

Nieng Yan’s group has now published the cryo-EM structure of the selective T-type Ca2+ channel blocker Z944 bound to the pore-forming α1-subunit of Cav3.1 T-type Ca2+ channels (1). This nicely adds to recent publications reporting of the high-resolution structures of

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Hot Topics: Deciphering the crystal structure of the leukotriene receptor CysLT2 opens up for improved therapeutics

Leukotrienes are lipid mediators of inflammation, initially recognized for their role in asthma, but also having potent effects in for example cardiovascular and neurological diseases as well as in cancer. The initial pharmacological classification of leukotriene receptors based on antagonist

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Hot Topics: New crystal structure of the muscarinic M5 receptor completes the set

Muscarinic receptors consist of 5 G protein-coupled receptors which along with nicotinic ion channels mediate the effects of acetylcholine. Despite years of research on the role of muscarinic receptors in the brain and periphery the Muscarinic M5 receptor has stood

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Database Release 2019.5

Our fifth and final database release of 2019 has been made and includes a number of minor content and website updates. Crucially, it comes at a time when we have just published our most recent database update in Nucleic Acids

Posted in Database updates, Technical

Hot Topics: 3D structure of the full-length P2X7 receptor provides insight into factors controlling agonist potency and receptor desensitisation

P2X receptors are ligand-gated cation channels for which ATP is the endogenous orthosteric agonist. Seven P2X subunits have been identified and they form trimers to produce at least twelve different receptor subtypes. The tertiary structure of several subtypes have been

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Official Launch of the Guide to MALARIA PHARMACOLOGY

We are delighted to announce the first full public release of the IUPHAR/MMV Guide to MALARIA PHARMACOLOGY (abbreviated to GtoMPdb). This new web resource, designed specifically for malaria pharmacology, has been developed as a joint initiative between the International Union

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Posted in Guide to Malaria Pharmacology

Database Release 2019.4

We are very pleased to announce our a new release of the IUPHAR/BPS Guide to Pharmacology. This version (2019.4) is the fourth this year and includes the first full-release of the IUPHAR/MMV Guide to Malaria Pharmacology. Content Updates GtoPdb now

Posted in Database updates, Guide to Immunopharmacology, Guide to Malaria Pharmacology, Technical

Hot Topics: GPR139 as a potential target for increasing opioid safety

The cross-talk between different G protein-coupled receptor signal-transduction pathways is an intriguing concept with important physiological implications [1]. A recent study by Wang et al. [2] has discovered that the actions of opioid drugs on the μ-opioid receptor (MOR) are

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Hot Topics: Resting-State Structure and Gating Mechanism of a Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel

In this report the Catterall laboratory succeeded in solving the high resolution structure of a voltage-gated Na+-channel (Nav) in its resting state (1). Why is this difficult and why is this important? It is difficult because Navs exist in the

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Hot Topics: The atlas of aminergic GPCR mutagenesis

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are an important family of signal-transducing membrane proteins capable of binding various types of ligands from the extracellular space and activating various signalling pathways inside the cell, rendering them one of the largest protein target families

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Database Release 2019.3

We have now made the third IUPHAR/BPS Guide to Pharmacology database release of 2019 (2019.3). It includes updates focussed on preparation for the next edition of The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY (2019/20), due out later this year. Content Updates GtoPdb

Posted in Database updates, Guide to Malaria Pharmacology, Hot Topics, Technical

Hot Topics: Time to FRET about GPCR activation dynamics?

G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are crucial for the transduction of extracellular stimuli to the intracellular space. Upon activation, GPCRs undergo large conformational changes to engage transducers and stimulate intracellular responses. However, the kinetics of agonist induced GPCR conformational changes

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World Malaria Day 2019: A New Guide to Malaria Pharmacology

Thursday 25th 2019 is World Malaria Day and we’d like to highlight our new resource, currently under development, called The IUPHAR/MMV Guide to Malaria Pharmacology (GtoMPdb). Based in Edinburgh, this new resource is directed by Professor Jamie Davies and his team and

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Posted in Guide to Malaria Pharmacology

Hot Topics: Rise up against statistical significance, probably.

A recent commentary in Nature has the provocative title “Retire Statistical Significance” (1, with a list of more than 800 signatories) and has been widely interpreted as a call for the entire concept of statistical significance to be abandoned. Closer

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Posted in Hot Topics, Uncategorized

Database Release 2019.2

We are pleased to announce a new IUPHAR/BPS Guide to Pharmacology database release! This release, 2019.2, is the second of the year and includes updates focussed on preparation for the next edition of The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY (2019/20), due

Posted in Database updates

Guide to MALARIA PHARMACOLOGY: introducing a new resource

We are pleased to make public the first beta-release (v1.0) of the Guide to MALARIA PHARMACOLOGY (GtoMPdb), a new extension to the existing Guide to PHARMACOLOGY (GtoPdb). The GtoMPdb is being developed as a joint initiative between Medicines for Malaria

Posted in Guide to Malaria Pharmacology, Technical

Hot Topics: Exciting Times for Ion Channel Pharmacology

Whilst life is always exciting as an ion channel pharmacologist, the last few months have been particularly so, with a large number of publications showing structures of ion channels with regulatory molecules bound to them. In just the last month,

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Hot Topics: Ligand biological activity predicted by cleaning positive and negative chemical correlations

New machine learning algorithm for drug discovery that is twice as efficient as the industry standard and identified potential ligands for the M1 receptor, a potential target for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. A paper from Lee et al. [1]

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Hot Topics: An online resource for GPCR structure determination and analysis

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) transduce physiological and sensory stimuli into appropriate cellular responses and mediate the actions of one-third of drugs. Structures of GPCRs are therefore extremely valuable for understanding basic receptor function and rational drug design. Today, 310 structures

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Database Release 2019.1

Our first database release of 2019 (2019.1) is now available. This update contains the following new features and content changes: Content Updates GtoPdb contains over 9,400 ligands, with around 7,200 have quantitative interaction data to biological targets. Just over 1,400

Posted in Database updates, Guide to Immunopharmacology, Guide to Malaria Pharmacology

Hot Topics: New Cannabinoid Receptors Structures

Cannabinoid receptors respond to multiple endogenous fatty acid derivatives and are often divided into neuronal-associated CB1 receptors and immune cell-associated CB2 receptors. Both receptors are GPCR, coupled predominantly to Gi, and have cytoprotective properties. The predominant psychotropic agent in Cannabis, THC,

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GtoPdb at BPS Pharmacology 2018

The IUPHAR/BPS Guide to Pharmacology was represented at the recent BPS Pharmacology 2018 meeting (London, UK, 18-20 Dec 2018). Tuesday 18th Dec On Tuesday we had two significant presentations. Firstly, a late-breaking poster on the IUPHAR/MMV Guide to Malaria Pharmacology.

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Posted in Events, Guide to Immunopharmacology, Guide to Malaria Pharmacology

Hot Topics: GPR37/GPR37L1 and the putative pairing with prosaptide/PSAP

Comments by Dr. Nicola J. Smith, National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow & Group Leader, Molecular Pharmacology Laboratory, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Australia As is often the case with orphan GPCRs, assigning the endogenous ligand has been controversial for the

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Hot Topics: Somatic APP gene recombination in normal and Alzheimer’s disease neurons

A new facet of the human brain has been reported [1] involving a first example of somatic gene recombination in neurons, representing a normal neural mechanism whose disruption could underlie the most common (sporadic) forms of Alzheimer’s disease. Mosaic and

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Hot Topics: Cellular thermal shift assays to measure ligand-to-target engagement

The cellular thermal shift assay (CETSA) was introduced in July of 2013 as a means to investigate drug target engagement inside live cells and tissues (1). The underlying principle of CETSA is simple – it relies on the thermostability of

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Immunopharmacology: challenges, opportunities and research tools. Edinburgh 1st-2nd October 2018.

At the beginning of October 2018 we held a meeting in Edinburgh focussed on the launch of the IUPHAR Guide to IMMUNOPHARMACOLOGY. Invited speakers contributed to productive discussions on the varying challenges and opportunities in immunopharmacology research. Immunopharmacology: The New

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The Anthony Harmar Memorial Lecture 2018: Prof. Tracy Hussell

Prof. Tracy Hussell Lung Disease: think about disease in a different way Tracy Hussell is Director, Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research (MCCIR) and Professor of Inflammatory Disease, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PT. To be healthy is

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Posted in Events

Hot Topics: Piezo channels and mechano-transduction in sensory neurons

Piezo channels (Piezo1 and Piezo2) are excitatory ion channels which respond directly to a variety of forms of mechanical stimuli. Two recent papers describe some of the critical roles of Piezo channels in sensory neuron transduction (1, 2). In the

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Hot Topics: Role of RTP type D on reward association with cocaine administration

The receptor tyrosine phosphatase (RTP) family is a relatively small group of cell-surface proteins with a simple intracellular enzymatic function in the dephosphorylation of phosphotyrosine proteins. There is less known about the endogenous extracellular ligands which regulate RTP activities in

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Hot topic: (but in this case, stale beer) the long overdue primary pharmacological characterisation of BIA 10-2747

The unfortunate French clinical trial disaster in which the FAAH inhibitor BIA 10-2747 (ligand ID 9001)  left one participant dead and several others with serious neurological adverse events, occurred back in January 2016.  However, the primary publication that describes the properties

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Hot Topics: Cryo-EM structure of the active, Gs-protein complexed, human CGRP receptor

In this multi-author, multi-centre publication [1] lead by Denise Wootten and Patrick Sexton from the Monash Institute of Pharmacological Sciences, there is reported a 3.3 Angstrom structure of one of the more unusual G protein-coupled receptors. The CGRP receptor is

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Hot Topics: β-Subunit of the voltage-gated Ca2+ channel Cav1.2 drives signaling to the nucleus via H-Ras

This paper [1] extends previous studies demonstrating a key role of voltage-gated L-type Ca2+ channels in the modulation of activity-dependent gene transcription. Earlier work in cultured neurons had already shown that L-type channel activity is required to activate gene expression

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Database release 2018.4

Our fourth database release of the year, 2018.4, is now available (n.b. the PubChem update statistics and link sets will be posted in a couple of weeks).   This update contains the following new features and content changes: Content Updates GPCRs:

Posted in Database updates, Guide to Immunopharmacology, Guide to Malaria Pharmacology

July 2018 News, Updates and Hot Topics

July 2018 News, Updates and Hot Topics Database release 2018.3: Our third database release of the year, 2018.3, is now available. This update contains the following new features and content changes: Updates across several target classes. The existing Antimalarial targets

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Hot Topics: Direct activation of neuronal KV7 channels by GABA and gabapentin – a novel mechanism for reducing neuronal excitability

The potassium channels KV7.2-KV7.5 (KCNQ2-5; GtoPdb target IDs 561-564) regulate neuronal excitability in the mammalian nervous system. The best characterised neuronal KV7 channels give rise to the M current (1) and are mediated predominantly by hetero-tetramers of KV7.2 and KV7.3

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Hot topic: New pharmacological tools reiterate lack of direct connection between Angiotensin 1–7 and the MAS1 GPCR

A new type of deorphanization conundrum confronted in pairing the GPCR, MAS1 with the hormonal peptide angiotensin 1–7 (Ang1-7) was emphasised in recent IUPHAR reviews (1, 2). More evidence for disconnection between Ang1-7 and MAS1 is presented in the recent

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Hot Topic: Structural details for coupling of the agonist-occupied µ opioid receptor (amongst others) to the Gi protein

Every few years in the field of receptor pharmacology, a technological advance occurs that drives the field forward in terms of insight and understanding. Over the past couple of years, the cryo-EM technique (the development of which won the 2017

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Hot Topic: Systems Medicine, Disease Maps and the future of Systems Biology

What will Systems Biology look like in the future? Up to now, it has focussed on the development of standards, software tools and databases that enabled us to study the dynamics of physiological function mechanistically. However as these tools and

Posted in Hot Topics