Receptor heteromers constitute a new area of research that is reshaping our thinking about biochemistry, cell biology, pharmacology and drug discovery. The concept, in which receptors of the same and different gene families can combine among themselves to generate dimers and possibly higher-order entities with uniquebiochemical and functional characteristics, is becoming widely accepted.

The latest Esteve Foundation Discussion Group was held in S’Agaró (Girona) on the 9th and 10th May, 2013. It brought together eight international experts on research into the pharmacological properties and therapeutic applications of receptor heteromers. A scientific article published in Pharmacological Reviews gathers all the points discussed during the two days of work. Sergi Ferré and Xavier Guitart, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, chaired the meeting, in which the following experts also participated:

Ralf Jockers
Institut Cochin, INSERM, Paris, France
Supportive evidence for GPCR heteromerization from the melatonin receptor subfamily

Jean-Philippe Pin
Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle, University of Montpellier, France Class C GPCR dimers and oligomers

Martin Lohse
Rudolf Virchow Center, Würzburg, Germany
Single molecule studies for GPCRs

Marta Filizola
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA
Structure and Dynamics of GPCR Oligomers at a Molecular Level

Graeme Milligan
Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland
Transitions between dimers and tetramers

Lakshmi A. Devi
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA
Identification of a μOR-δOR heteromer biased agonist with antinociceptive activity