Engineered Context-Sensitive Agonism: Tissue-Selective Drug Signaling through a G Protein-Coupled Receptor.
The muscarinic acetylcholine receptors are a subfamily of G protein-coupled receptors that regulate numerous fundamental functions of the central and peripheral nervous system. The past few years have witnessed unprecedented new insights into muscarinic receptor physiology, pharmacology and structure. These advances include the first structural views of muscarinic receptors in both inactive and active conformations, as well as a better understanding of the molecular underpinnings of muscarinic receptor regulation by allosteric modulators. These recent findings should facilitate the development of new muscarinic receptor subtype-selective ligands that could prove to be useful for the treatment of many severe pathophysiological conditions.