Approximately a third of all drugs act by binding directly to cell surface receptors coupled to G proteins. Other drugs act indirectly on these same pathways, for example, by inhibiting neurotransmitter reuptake or by blocking the inactivation of intracellular second messengers. These drugs have revolutionized the treatment of human disease. However, the complexity of G protein signaling mechanisms has significantly hampered our ability to identify additional new drug targets. Moreover, today's molecular pharmacologists are accustomed to working on narrowly focused problems centered on a single protein or enzymatic process. Here we describe emerging efforts in yeast aimed at identifying proteins and processes that modulate the function of receptors, G proteins and MAP kinase effectors. The scope of these efforts is far more systematic, comprehensive and quantitative than anything attempted previously, and includes integrated approaches in genetics, proteomics and computational biology.
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Hao, N., Behar, M., Elston, T. et al. Systems biology analysis of G protein and MAP kinase signaling in yeast. Oncogene 26, 3254–3266 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.onc.1210416
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