ReviewChild Health

G Protein–Coupled Receptors in Child Development, Growth, and Maturation

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Sci. Signal.  12 Oct 2010:
Vol. 3, Issue 143, pp. re7
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3143re7

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G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute a large family of cell membrane receptors that affect embryogenesis, development, and child physiology, and they are targets for approved drugs and those still in development. The sensitivity of GPCRs to their respective extracellular hormones, neurotransmitters, and environmental stimulants, as well as their interaction with other receptors and intracellular signaling proteins (such as receptor activity–modifying proteins), contribute to variations in child development, growth, and maturation. Here, we summarize current knowledge about the mechanisms of activation (in either the presence or absence of ligands) that lead to the sensitivities of GPCRs and their respective effects as seen throughout human developmental and maturational phases.

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