G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are found only in eukaryotes, including yeast, plants, choanoflagellates, and animals. They constitute a large protein family of transmembrane receptors that have the ability to sense molecules outside the cell and activate intracellular signal transduction pathways resulting in a variety of cellular responses. The ligands that bind and activate these receptors vary in size from small molecules to large proteins and include light-sensitive compounds, odors, pheromones, hormones and neurotransmitters. GPCRs are involved in many types of disease and serve as targets for almost half of all modern medicinal drugs.
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