G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) are amongst the best studied and most functionally diverse types of cell-surface protein. The importance of GPCRs as mediates or cell function and organismal developmental underlies their involvement in key physiological roles and their prominence as targets for pharmacological therapeutics. In this review, we highlight the requirement for integrated protocols which underline the different perspectives offered by different sequence analysis methods. BLAST and FastA offer broad brush strokes. Motif-based search methods add the fine detail. Structural modelling offers another perspective which allows us to elucidate the physicochemical properties that underlie ligand binding. Together, these different views provide a more informative and a more detailed picture of GPCR structure and function. Many GPCRs remain orphan receptors with no identified ligand, yet as computer-driven functional genomics starts to elaborate their functions, a new understanding of their roles in cell and developmental biology will follow.
- protein superfamily
- transmembrane protein