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Addictive drugs targeting GPCRs: new cross-talk mechanisms

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G protein coupled receptors (GPCR) represent the largest family of membrane proteins in the human genome. Among the plethora of physiological events leaded by the activation of GPCRs, these receptors are responsible for the actions of many different addictive substances either as direct targets or as a ...

G protein coupled receptors (GPCR) represent the largest family of membrane proteins in the human genome. Among the plethora of physiological events leaded by the activation of GPCRs, these receptors are responsible for the actions of many different addictive substances either as direct targets or as a secondary consequence of the action of the addictive agent. In this context, these receptors and their cognate signalling pathways not only mediate acute effects of addictive drugs but are also vital to the development of the addictive disease whether this be addiction to legal (alcohol, nicotine) or illegal (amphetamine, cocaine, heroin, cannabis) drugs and/or substances (solvents). The classical paradigm that activation of a given type of GPCR triggers to a limited set of signalling events in a rapid, specific and sequential manner, is now days under a constant and continuous review. In fact, emerging evidences, have revealed that this model only partly explained the complex signalling mediated by GPCRs. It is now well documented how the propagation of GPCRs signalling involves cross-regulation of many and specific pathways including cross-talks between different GPCRs as well as with other signalling pathways. Although cross-talk among GPCRs it has been demonstrated in a number of different models, the mechanism/s underlying this important physiological process remains poorly understood. We encourage researchers to submit papers (original papers or reviews articles) dealing with any new mechanisms of cross-talk between GPCRs involved in the development of addition and tolerance mechanisms such as opioid, adenosine, cannabionid, NOP and many others.


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