Allosteric modulation of metabotropic glutamate receptors

Douglas J Sheffler, Karen Joan Gregory, Jerri M Rook, Peter Jeffrey Conn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The development of receptor subtype-selective ligands by targeting allosteric sites of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) has proven highly successful in recent years. One GPCR family that has greatly benefited from this approach is the metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlus). These family C GPCRs participate in the neuromodulatory actions of glutamate throughout the CNS, where they play a number of key roles in regulating synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability. A large number of mGlu subtype-selective allosteric modulators have been identified, the majority of which are thought to bind within the transmembrane regions of the receptor. These modulators can either enhance or inhibit mGlu functional responses and, together with mGlu knockout mice, have furthered the establishment of the physiologic roles of many mGlu subtypes. Numerous pharmacological and receptor mutagenesis studies have been aimed at providing a greater mechanistic understanding of the interaction of mGlu allosteric modulators with the receptor, which have revealed evidence for common allosteric binding sites across multiple mGlu subtypes and the presence for multiple allosteric sites within a single mGlu subtype. Recent data have also revealed that mGlu allosteric modulators can display functional selectivity toward particular signal transduction cascades downstream of an individual mGlu subtype. Studies continue to validate the therapeutic utility of mGlu allosteric modulators as a potential therapeutic approach for a number of disorders including anxiety, schizophrenia, Parkinson s disease, and Fragile X syndrome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37 - 77
Number of pages41
JournalAdvances in Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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