Practical strategies and concepts in GPCR allosteric modulator discovery: recent advances with metabotropic glutamate receptors

Craig W. Lindsley, Kyle A. Emmitte, Corey R. Hopkins, Thomas M. Bridges, Karen J. Gregory, Colleen M. Niswender, P. Jeffrey Conn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)


Allosteric modulation of GPCRs has initiated a new era of basic and translational discovery, filled with therapeutic promise yet fraught with caveats. Allosteric ligands stabilize unique conformations of the GPCR that afford fundamentally new receptors, capable of novel pharmacology, unprecedented subtype selectivity, and unique signal bias. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the basics of GPCR allosteric pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, drug metabolism, and validated approaches to address each of the major challenges and caveats. Then, the review narrows focus to highlight recent advances in the discovery of allosteric ligands for metabotropic glutamate receptor subtypes 1-5 and 7 (mGlu1-5,7) highlighting key concepts ("molecular switches", signal bias, heterodimers) and practical solutions to enable the development of tool compounds and clinical candidates. The review closes with a section on late-breaking new advances with allosteric ligands for other GPCRs and emerging data for endogenous allosteric modulators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6707-6741
Number of pages35
JournalChemical Reviews
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2016

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