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Papers of the Week

Papers: 18 May 2024 - 24 May 2024

2024 May 17

Biochem Pharmacol


Time-dependent ligand-receptor binding kinetics and functionality in a heterodimeric receptor model.


Ortiz AJ, Martín V, Romero D, Guillamon A, Giraldo J


GPCRs heteromerize both in CNS and non-CNS regions. The cell uses receptor heteromerization to modulate receptor functionality and to provide fine tuning of receptor signaling. In order for pharmacologists to explore these mechanisms for therapeutic purposes, quantitative receptor models are needed. We have developed a time-dependent model of the binding kinetics and functionality of a preformed heterodimeric receptor involving two drugs. Two cases were considered: both or only one of the drugs are in excess with respect to the total concentration of the receptor. The latter case can be applied to those situations in which a drug causes unwanted side effects that need to be reduced by decreasing its concentration. The required efficacy can be maintained by the allosteric effects mutually exerted by the two drugs in the two-drug combination system. We discuss this concept assuming that the drug causing unwanted side effects is an opioid and that analgesia is the therapeutic effect. As additional points, allosteric modulation by endogenous compounds and synthetic bivalent ligands was included in the study. Receptor heteromerization offers a mechanistic understanding and quantification of the pharmacological effects elicited by combinations of two drugs at different doses and with different efficacies and cooperativity effects, thus providing a conceptual framework for drug combination therapy.