Pepducins as a potential treatment strategy for asthma and COPD

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Current therapies to treat asthma and other airway diseases primarily include anti-inflammatory agents and bronchodilators. Anti-inflammatory agents target trafficking and resident immunocytes and structural cells, while bronchodilators act to prevent or reverse shortening of airway smooth muscle (ASM), the pivotal tissue regulating bronchomotor tone. Advances in our understanding of the biology of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and biased agonism offers unique opportunities to modulate GPCR function that include the use of pepducins and allosteric modulators. Recent evidence suggests that small molecule inhibitors of Gαq as well as pepducins targeting Gq-coupled receptors can broadly inhibit contractile agonist-induced ASM function. Given these advances, new therapeutic approaches can be leveraged to diminish the global rise in morbidity and mortality associated with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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