Opioids pp 189-216 | Cite as

Opioid Receptor-Coupled Second Messenger Systems

  • S. R. Childers
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 104 / 1)


Most neurotransmitter and hormone receptors can be grouped into a series of receptor “superfamilies.” Receptors in each of these groups share a number of common properties, including general protein subunit structure, primary sequence homologies, and general gene structure and regulation. Receptors within each of these groups also share common effector systems and, in many cases, the effector systems themselves actually define the individual receptor superfamilies. Most neurotransmitters belong to two major receptor groups: the oligomeric receptor-ion channel complexes, and the G-protein-linked receptors. For neurotransmitters like GABA (acting at GABAA receptors) and acetylcholine (acting at nicotinic sites), receptors are large multisubunit structures which complex together to form ion channels integrated with the receptor-binding sites. For dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine (acting at muscarinic receptors), and many neuropeptides, receptors are coupled to specific G proteins which activate a series of effector systems, several of which are associated with diffusible second messenger systems.


Adenylate Cyclase Opioid Receptor Adenylyl Cyclase Guanine Nucleotide Opiate Receptor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

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  • S. R. Childers

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