rhodopsin receptor-like class A family of the seven-transmembrane G protein-coupled receptor superfamily
Class A rhodopsin-like receptors constitute about 90% of all GPCRs. The class A GPCRs include the light-sensitive rhodopsin as well as receptors for biogenic amines, lipids, nucleotides, odorants, peptide hormones, and a variety of other ligands. All GPCRs have a common structural architecture comprising of seven-transmembrane (TM) alpha-helices interconnected by three extracellular and three intracellular loops. A general feature of GPCR signaling is agonist-induced conformational changes in the receptors, leading to activation of the heterotrimeric G proteins, which consist of the guanine nucleotide-binding G-alpha subunit and the dimeric G-beta-gamma subunits. The activated G proteins then bind to and activate numerous downstream effector proteins, which generate second messengers that mediate a broad range of cellular and physiological processes. Based on sequence similarity, GPCRs can be divided into six major classes: class A (rhodopsin-like family), class B (Methuselah-like, adhesion and secretin-like receptor family), class C (metabotropic glutamate receptor family), class D (fungal mating pheromone receptors), class E (cAMP receptor family), and class F (frizzled/smoothened receptor family). Nearly 800 human GPCR genes have been identified and are involved essentially in all major physiological processes. Approximately 40% of clinically marketed drugs mediate their effects through modulation of GPCR function for the treatment of a variety of human diseases including bacterial infections.