GPCRs may not pair up as often as thought

Some purported pairings are actually just random interactions between molecules, a new report claims

Charles Q. Choi
Nov 5, 2006
The largest known family of proteins, G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), may not pair up as often as is widely thought, scientists report in Nature Methods. The controversial new results suggest prior studies may have mistaken random interactions for true dimerizations. There is "no doubt that a large number of labs do fall into the type of traps described in the manuscript because they do not have the relevant technical expertise," said Graeme Milligan of the University of Glasgow in Scotland, who did not participate in this study. "I think many of the best people in the field do consider that a lot of relatively poor papers have been produced, particularly in studies examining hetero-dimerization. Of course, key experiments now require the presence of dimers to be shown unequivocally in native tissues," he told The Scientist in an email. Despite this, "I feel that this manuscript fails to consider...

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