Guide to Pharmacology

Description An online, open-access portal to pharmacological information on all the human targets of prescription drugs
Data types
Target nomenclature, pharmacological data, ligand structures
Organisms Human, Mouse, Rat
Research centre University of Edinburgh, UK
Primary citation The IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY in 2016: towards curated quantitative interactions between 1300 protein targets and 6000 ligands [1]
Versioning Content updated approx quarterly (i.e. 2016.2 was March)
Curation policy Manual, in-house

The IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY is an open-access website, acting as a portal to information on the biological targets of licensed drugs and other small molecules. The Guide to PHARMACOLOGY (with GtoPdb being the standard abbreviation) is developed as a joint venture between the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) and the British Pharmacological Society (BPS). This replaces and expands upon the original 2009 IUPHAR Database (standard abbreviation IUPHAR-DB) . The Guide to PHARMACOLOGY aims to provide a concise overview of all pharmacological targets, accessible to all members of the scientific and clinical communities and the interested public, with links to details on a selected set of targets. The information featured includes pharmacological data, target and gene nomenclature, as well as curated chemical information for ligands. Overviews and commentaries on each target family are included, with links to key references.

Background and development

The Guide to PHARMACOLOGY was initially made available online in December 2011 with additional material released in July 2012. Maintained by a team of curators based at the University of Edinburgh, the Guide to PHARMACOLOGY is developed by an international network of contributors, including the editors of the Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY. As with the original IUPHAR-DB, the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) Committee on Receptor Nomenclature and Drug Classification (NC-IUPHAR), acts as the scientific advisory and editorial board for the database. Its network of over 700 specialist advisors (organised into ~60 subcommittees) contribute expertise and data. The current PI and Grant holder of the GtoPdb project is Prof. Jamie A. Davies. The development and release of the first version of the GtoPdb in 2012 was described in an editorial published in the British Journal of Pharmacology entitled 'Guide to an update'.[2] The IUPHAR-DB is no longer being developed and all the information contained within this site is now available through the Guide to PHARMACOLOGY (IUPHAR-DB links should now re-direct).

Content and features

The target groups currently included on the Guide to PHARMACOLOGY are:

Information for each target group is subdivided into families based on classification, with a separate data page for each family. Within each page, targets are arranged into lists of tables, with each table including the protein and gene nomenclature for the target with links to gene nomenclature databases, and listing selected ligands with activity at the target, including agonists, antagonists, inhibitors and radioligands. Pharmacological data and references are given and each ligand is hyperlinked to a ligand page displaying nomenclature and a chemical structure or peptide sequence, along with synonyms and relevant database links. The Guide to PHARMACOLOGY also includes a list of all ligand molecules included on the site, subdivided into categories including small organic molecules (including mammalian metabolites, hormones and neurotransmitters), synthetic organic molecules, natural products, peptides, inorganic molecules and antibodies. A complete list of all the approved drugs included on the website is also available via the ligand list. The Guide to PHARMACOLOGY is being expanded to include clinical information on targets and ligands, in addition to education resources. Search features on the website include quick and advanced search options, and receptor and ligand searches, including support for ligand structures using chemical structures. Other features include 'Hot topic' news items and a recent receptor-ligand pairing list.

The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY

The Guide to PHARMACOLOGY includes an online, open-access database version of the Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY, previously "The Guide to Receptors and Channels"[3] available in HTML, PDF and printed formats. A hard copy summary of the online database is published as The Concise Guide to Pharmacology 2015/2016 [4] as a series of papers as a bi-annual supplement to the British Journal of Pharmacology.

Database links

The Guide to PHARMACOLOGY includes links to other relevant resources via target and ligand pages on both the concise and detailed view pages. Many of these resources maintain reciprocal links with the relevant Guide to PHARMACOLOGY pages.

Future directions

Following funding from the Wellcome Trust, from 2012 to 2015 the Guide to PHARMACOLOGY was expanded to include the biological targets of all prescription drugs and other likely targets of future small molecule drugs. Overviews of the key features of a wide range of targets are provided on the summary view pages, with detailed view pages providing more in-depth information on the properties of a selected subset of targets. As of November 2015 the Wellcome Trust is supporting a new project to develop the Guide to Immumopharmacology, based on the GtoPdb schema. The latter continues to be supported by the British Pharmacological Society.

See also


  1. Southan, C.; Sharman, J. L.; Benson, H. E.; Facczga55axenda, E.; Pawson, A. J.; Alexander, S. P. H.; Buneman, O. P.; Davenport, A.; McGrath, I. J.; Peters, J. A.; Spedding, M.; Catterall, W. A.; Fabbro, D.; Davies, J. A. (2016). "The IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY in 2016: towards curated quantitative interactions between 1300 protein targets and 6000 ligands". Nucleic Acids Research. 44 (D1): D1054–D1068. doi:10.1093/nar/gkv1037. PMC 4702778Freely accessible. PMID 26464438.
  2. Alexander, S. P.; Benson, H. E.; Davenport, A.; Mathie, A.; McGrath, I. J.; Pawson, A. J.; Peters, J. A.; Sharman, J. L.; Spedding, M.; Harmar, A. J. (2012). " - an update". British Journal of Pharmacology. 167 (4): 697–698. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2012.02141.x. PMC 3575771Freely accessible. PMID 23003568.
  3. Alexander, SP; Mathie, A; Peters, JA (November 2011). "Guide to Receptors and Channels (GRAC), 5th edition.". British Journal of Pharmacology. 164 Suppl 1: S1–324. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01649_1.x. PMID 22040146.
  4. Alexander, S.P.H.; et al. (2015). "The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY". British Journal of Pharmacology. 172: 5729–5743. doi:10.1111/bph.13347.

External links

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