GPCRs: What Can We Learn from Molecular Dynamics Simulations?
Velgy N., Hedger G., Biggin PC.
Advances in the structural biology of G-protein Coupled Receptors have resulted in a significant step forward in our understanding of how this important class of drug targets function at the molecular level. However, it has also become apparent that they are very dynamic molecules, and moreover, that the underlying dynamics is crucial in shaping the response to different ligands. Molecular dynamics simulations can provide unique insight into the dynamic properties of GPCRs in a way that is complementary to many experimental approaches. In this chapter, we describe progress in three distinct areas that are particularly difficult to study with other techniques: atomic level investigation of the conformational changes that occur when moving between the various states that GPCRs can exist in, the pathways that ligands adopt during binding/unbinding events and finally, the influence of lipids on the conformational dynamics of GPCRs.