New updated GRAC Fifth Edition with searchable online version Launch of new portal Guide to Pharmacology in association with NC-IUPHAR Transporter-Themed Issue

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  • Themed Section: Transporters

    EDITORIAL bph_1751 1749..1750New updated GRAC Fifth Editionwith searchable online versionLaunch of new portal Guide toPharmacology in associationwith NC-IUPHARTransporter-Themed IssueSteve Alexander1, Anthony Harmar2 and Ian McGrath3

    1Lipid Signalling, Biomedical Sciences, University of Nottingham Medical School, Nottingham, UK,2Centre for Cardiovascular Science, Queens Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh

    Edinburgh, UK, and 3School of Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

    CorrespondenceSteve Alexander, Lipid Signalling,Biomedical Sciences, University ofNottingham Medical School,Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK.

    KeywordsGRAC; Guide to Receptors andChannels; Guide to Pharmacology;Transporters Themed Issue-----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Linked ArticlesTo access the new edition of GRACvisit www.GuidetoPharmacology.organd to view the other articles in thisthemed section on Transporters visit

    Guide to Receptors and Channels(GRAC) Fifth Edition

    The British Journal of Pharmacologys (BJP) GRAC is generatedby Steve Alexander, Alistair Mathie and John Peters, withconsultation from numerous experts in the various fields(Alexander et al., 2011). It is a compilation of the majorpharmacological targets divided into seven sections: Gprotein-coupled receptors, ligand-gated ion channels, ionchannels, catalytic receptors, nuclear receptors, transportersand enzymes. These are presented with nomenclature guid-ance and summary information on the best available phar-macological tools, alongside suggestions for further reading.The GRAC presents each entry, typically a circumscribedtarget class family on, wherever possible, a single page, so asto allow easy access and rapid oversight.

    The intention of GRAC is to produce an authoritativebut user-friendly publication, which allows a rapid overviewof the key properties of a wide range of established orpotential pharmacological targets. The aim was to provideinformation succinctly, so that a newcomer to a particulartarget group can identify the main elements at a glance. Itis not our goal to produce all-inclusive reviews of the targetspresented; references to these are included in the FurtherReading sections of the entries or, for many targets, theInternational Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology

    (IUPHAR) database (, which pro-vides extensive information and previously was located andcurated separately.

    Guide to Pharmacology openaccess portal

    We are now launching this new portal to gather in one placethe previously separate information on drug targets of GRACand IUPHAR-DB. Over time, these will steadily be integratedand the portal will be developed as a one-stop shop forinformation on drug targets and other information of assis-tance to pharmacology and drug development in academiaand industry.

    This has been made possible through collaborationbetween the British Pharmacological Society and IUPHAR.The free online portal has been created by the IUPHARDatabase Team (Joanna Sharman, Chido Mpamhanga,Adam Pawson, Helen Benson, Vincent Bombail and TonyHarmar) in the Centre for Cardiovascular Science, Univer-sity of Edinburgh, at

    Our long-term plan is to create an open access databaseproviding quantitative pharmacological information on all ofthe targets of current prescription medicines and other plau-sible targets of future small molecule drugs.

    BJP British Journal ofPharmacologyDOI:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01751.x

    British Journal of Pharmacology (2011) 164 17491750 1749 2011 The AuthorsBritish Journal of Pharmacology 2011 The British Pharmacological Society

  • Searchable online version of GRACaccessed through Guide toPharmacology portal

    The database team have also created a searchable onlineversion of GRAC Fifth Edition freely available via the portaland enhanced with hyperlinks to additional information inthe IUPHAR database, curated chemical structures and cita-tions in PubMed.

    Transporter-Themed Section toaccompany New Transporter Sectionof GRAC

    Reflecting the new Tranporter section in GRAC, this issue ofBJP contains a Transporters Themed Section. This comprisesreviews to stimulate a greater awareness of, and interest in,transporters as alternative drug targets, as well as remindingpharmacologists of the dominant role of transporters in influ-encing the efficacy of medicinal agents by altering theirbiodistribution.

    In comparison with the previous edition of GRAC, anumber of new records have been added, expanding the totalto include over 1600 protein targets. The expansion for theFifth Edition comes primarily from including the full comple-ment of transporters defined in the human genome, as well asincreasing the content on enzymes.

    What else is new for the Fifth Edition?

    More on preliminary pairings of orphan receptors have Pre-liminary pairings.

    The catalytic receptor section has been expanded: Cytok-ine receptors, Receptor serine/threonine kinases and Receptortyrosine phosphatases, Pattern recognition receptors, includ-ing Toll-like receptors. All 58 receptor tyrosine kinases arelisted, divided into families, including insulin and fibroblastgrowth factor receptors, but also lists leukocyte tyrosinekinases, which lack endogenous ligands.

    The section on enzymes is expanded and reorganized,focussing on themes. Adenylyl cyclases, soluble guanylylcyclase and phosphodiesterases are coalesced under theheading of Cyclic nucleotide turnover.

    In summary, this new accord between the BPS andIUPHAR allows the hardworking scientist easier access tothose most precious (and at the same time apparently over-whelming) requirements for good science, the right informa-tion in the shortest time, and sets consistent internationalstandards.


    Alexander SPH, Mathie A, Peters JA (2011). Guide to Receptors andChannels (GRAC), 5th Edition. Br J Pharmacol 164: S1S324.

    BJP S Alexander et al.

    1750 British Journal of Pharmacology (2011) 164 17491750

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