Biomolecules & Therapeutics  
Comprehensive Analysis of Non-Synonymous Natural Variants of G Protein-Coupled Receptors
Hee Ryung Kim, Nguyen Minh Duc and Ka Young Chung*
School of Pharmacy, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 16419, Republic of Korea
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Received: March 23, 2017; Revised: July 4, 2017; Accepted: July 13, 2017; Published online: September 19, 2017.
© The Korean Society of Applied Pharmacology. All rights reserved.

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest superfamily of transmembrane receptors and have vital signaling functions in various organs. Because of their critical roles in physiology and pathology, GPCRs are the most commonly used therapeutic target. It has been suggested that GPCRs undergo massive genetic variations such as genetic polymorphisms and DNA insertions or deletions. Among these genetic variations, non-synonymous natural variations change the amino acid sequence and could thus alter GPCR functions such as expression, localization, signaling, and ligand binding, which may be involved in disease development and altered responses to GPCR-targeting drugs. Despite the clinical importance of GPCRs, studies on the genotype-phenotype relationship of GPCR natural variants have been limited to a few GPCRs such as β-adrenergic receptors and opioid receptors. Comprehensive understanding of non-synonymous natural variations within GPCRs would help to predict the unknown genotype-phenotype relationship and yet-to-be-discovered natural variants. Here, we analyzed the non-synonymous natural variants of all non-olfactory GPCRs available from a public database, UniProt. The results suggest that non-synonymous natural variations occur extensively within the GPCR superfamily especially in the N-terminus and transmembrane domains. Within the transmembrane domains, natural variations observed more frequently in the conserved residues, which leads to disruption of the receptor function. Our analysis also suggests that only few non-synonymous natural variations have been studied in efforts to link the variations with functional consequences.
Keywords: G protein-coupled receptor, Non-synonymous natural variant, Structure

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