Biased signalling from the glucocorticoid receptor: Renewed opportunity for tailoring glucocorticoid activity

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Recent landmark studies applying analytical pharmacology approaches to the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) have demonstrated that different ligands can cause differential activation of distinct GR-regulated genes. Drawing on concepts of signalling bias from the field of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) biology, we speculate that ligand-dependent differences in GR signalling can be considered analogous to GPCR biased signalling, and thus can be quantitatively analysed in a similar way. This type of approach opens up the possibility of using rational structure-based drug optimisation strategies to improve the therapeutic selectivity of glucocorticoid drugs to maximise their efficacy and minimise adverse effects.

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