Pickpocketed orphans

How a new GPCR matching technique could identify ligands for orphan receptors

While G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) make good drug targets when the ligand is known, about 100 of the roughly 800-member family are orphan receptors, representing an untapped reservoir of potential drug targets. Now, researchers from the University of California San Diego and Australia have developed a computational model to match the orphan receptors with ligands that could serve as starting points for drug development.

The system,

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