Many pharmaceuticals work by targeting G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), a type of protein found in all human cells. GPCRs are essential to several key signaling pathways and play an important role in a wide variety of physiological processes, such as vision, taste, and smell. They also help regulate mood and behavioral pathways, as well as the immune system.
Drugs that target GPCRs can help treat diseases ranging from diabetes to cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. They represent approximately 34% of all drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
However, many of these pharmaceuticals also have negative side effects. In fact, many candidate drugs with great potential medical value are discarded because of their unwanted side effects.
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