The nature of efficacy at G protein-coupled receptors

Peishen Zhao, Sebastian G.B. Furness

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) participate in many pathophysiological processes as well as almost all aspects of normal physiology. They are present at the surface of all cell types making them amenable and attractive targets for pharmaceutical therapeutics. GPCRs possess complex pharmacology with the ability to be turned on to various extents, have their constitutive activity suppressed and even switch between signaling pathways to which they couple. Underlying this complex pharmacology is GPCR signaling efficacy, and differences in efficacy promoted by alternative ligands and in different tissues is of great interest to biology in general and also the pharmaceutical industry. In this review we hope to discuss what the molecular foundations of efficacy are and whether a new approach utilizing a rate-dependent model may provide new insights into this phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113647
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Biased agonism
  • Cell signaling
  • Efficacy
  • G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs)
  • Receptor structure-function
  • Receptor theory
  • Signal transduction

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