About this Research Topic
Ligand-receptor interactions on the plasma membrane underlie fundamental biological processes such as cell growth and differentiation, cell death/survival balance, cell-to-cell communication, cell adhesion, and cell metabolism. The development of cancer, genetic, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, and developmental disorders has been often causally linked to alterations of ligand-receptor interactions. As a consequence, most of the approved drugs (>60%) target overexpressed/mutated cell-surface molecules - or their natural ligands - to suppress aberrant signaling pathways. Additionally, several diagnostic/therapeutic approaches exploit synthetic ligands to bind cell-surface markers and enable targeted delivery of payloads into diseased cells. These can also be used to profile receptors, thus providing insights on disease progression.
However, the study of how both natural and artificial ligands influence the behaviour of receptors can be challenging and often requires multidisciplinary strategies. Ligands can be promiscuous in their binding, and different ligand-receptor interactions trigger a plethora of outcomes, which depend on the cellular context.
Emerging integrative approaches to assess ligand-receptor interactions include:
i) biochemical methods revealing receptor post-translational modifications, interactors and second messengers production.
ii) computational analyses estimating the contribution of lipid bilayers.
iii) biophysical methods to measure membrane receptor dynamics and
oligomerization state upon ligand binding.
iv) -omics approaches aiming to study ligand-induced modulation of gene or protein expression.
This Research Topic aims to offer a comprehensive view of multidisciplinary strategies used to study ligand-receptor systems in different physio-pathological contexts. This would provide biologists with a set of guidelines to promote the translation of such approaches to study any ligand-receptor system.
We welcome Original Research papers, Methods, Review and Mini-Review, Data Report, Perspective and Brief Research Report.
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