Heterotrimeric Gq proteins as therapeutic targets?

E. Kostenis, E.M. Pfeil, S. Annala

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


© 2020 Kostenis et al.Heterotrimeric G proteins are the core upstream elements that transduce and amplify the cellular signals from G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) to intracellular effectors. GPCRs are the largest family of membrane proteins encoded in the human genome and are the targets of about one-third of prescription medicines. However, to date, no single therapeutic agent exerts its effects via perturbing heterotrimeric G protein function, despite a plethora of evidence linking G protein malfunction to human disease. Several recent studies have brought to light that the Gq family–specific inhibitor FR900359 (FR) is unexpectedly efficacious in silencing the signaling of Gq oncoproteins, mutant Gq variants that mostly exist in the active state. These data not only raise the hope that researchers working in drug discovery may be able to potentially strike Gq oncoproteins from the list of undruggable targets, but also raise questions as to how FR achieves its therapeutic effect. Here, we place emphasis on these recent studies and explain why they expand our pharmacological armamentarium for targeting Gq protein oncogenes as well as broaden our mechanistic understanding of Gq protein oncogene function. We also highlight how this novel insight impacts the significance and utility of using G(q) proteins as targets in drug discovery efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5206-5215
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


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