7-TM Receptors

7-Transmembrane receptors (7-TM receptors), also known as G-protein-coupled receptors, or GPCRs, are integral membrane proteins that contain seven membrane-spanning helices. As the name suggests they are coupled to heterotrimeric G proteins on the intracellular side of the membrane. Upon ligand binding, the GPCR undergoes a conformational change which is transmitted to the G protein causing activation. Further signal transduction depends on the type of G protein.

Products for 7-TM Receptors


7-TM receptors are activated by a wide variety of ligands including light, olfactory stimulants, peptides, hormones and neurotransmitters. They are grouped into 6 classes based on sequence homology and functional similarity:

  • Class A (or 1) (Rhodopsin-like)
  • Class B (or 2) (Secretin receptor family)
  • Class C (or 3) (Metabotropic glutamate/pheromone)
  • Class D (or 4) (Fungal mating pheromone receptors)
  • Class E (or 5) (Cyclic AMP receptors)
  • Class F (or 6) (Frizzled/Smoothened)

Physiology and Disease

The human genome encodes roughly 350 7-TM receptors, of which approximately 150 of these have an unknown function. They comprise the largest family of receptors in the human genome and because of their large number, widespread distribution and important roles in cell physiology and biochemistry, they play an important role in medicine.

Diseases involving mutations of 7-TM receptors are relatively rare, however disorders which involve antibodies directed against 7-TM receptors are more common. Typically disease can be caused by:

  • Non-functional receptors (GHRH and familial growth hormone deficiency)
  • Constitutive activation (Rhodopsin and retinitis pigmentosa)
  • Changes in ligand binding specificity (Thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor and hyperthyroidism of pregnancy)
  • Improper receptor processing (vasopressin receptor and diabetes insipidus)
  • Antibodies directed against the receptors (Thyroid stimulation hormone receptor and Graves disease)
  • Constitutively active or inactive G proteins

7-TM receptors are the target of around half of all modern medicinal drugs. Their expression on the cell surface makes them readily accessible to hydrophilic drugs and their non-uniform expression provides selectivity in activating or blocking physiological events. Agonists and antagonists of 7-TM receptors are used in the treatment of disease in every organ system.

Quick Order

Find multiple products by catalog number

divider line

GPCR Product Listing

GPCR Product Listing

Highlights over 450 products for GPCRs. Request copy or view PDF today.

divider line

Cardiovascular Life Science Poster

Written by J.J. Maguire and A.P. Davenport

Cardiovascular Life Science Poster

Our Cardiovascular poster highlights the key G protein-coupled receptors involved in the regulation of vascular reactivity. Request copy or view PDF today.

divider line

Twitter Updates

Follow @Tocris on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter!

Tocris is now actively tweeting. For regular updates on news, events and special offers, follow @Tocris on Twitter.