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This website, originally created in a collaboration between The British Pharmacological Society (BPS) and the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) and now developed jointly with funding from the Wellcome Trust, is intended to become a “one-stop shop” portal to pharmacological information. One of the main aims is to provide a searchable database with quantitative information on drug targets and the prescription medicines and experimental drugs that act on them. In future versions we plan to add resources for education and training in pharmacological principles and techniques along with research guidelines and overviews of key topics. We hope that the IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY will be useful for researchers and students in pharmacology and drug discovery and provide the general public with accurate information on the basic science underlying drug action.
The information in the database is presented at two levels: the initial view or landing pages for each target family provide expert-curated overviews of the key properties and selective ligands and tool compounds available. For selected targets more detailed introductory chapters for each family are available along with curated information on the pharmacological, physiological, structural, genetic and pathophysiogical properties of each target. The database is enhanced with hyperlinks to additional information in other databases including Ensembl, UniProt, PubChem, ChEMBL and DrugBank, as well as curated chemical information and literature citations in PubMed.
The current version of the database is based on information contained in:
(1) SPH Alexander, A Mathie, JA Peters. (2011) Guide to Receptors and Channels (GRAC), 5th edition. Br J Pharmacol., 164 (Suppl. s1), 1-324. [Table of Contents]
(2) Alexander SPH, Benson HE, Faccenda E, Pawson AJ, Sharman JL, McGrath JC, Catterall WA, Spedding M, Peters JA and Harmar AJ, CGTP Collaborators. (2013) The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY 2013/14. Br J Pharmacol., 170: 1449–1867. [Table of Contents]
Over the next few years the database will be expanded to include major areas of interest to pharmacology with links to other websites. One of our main goals is to provide information on all the targets of currently licensed drugs as well as other potential targets of interest.
The IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY is developed within the Centre for Integrative Physiology at the University of Edinburgh, led by Prof Jamie Davies who took over the role from Prof Tony Harmar upon his retirement from the University in 2014. The team comprises Dr Joanna Sharman, Dr Adam Pawson, Dr Elena Faccenda, Ms Helen Benson and Dr Christopher Southan, with administrative support from Ms Veronika Divincova.
Please contact us with all enquiries, comments, error reports: Email us.
For information on how to cite the data please visit this page.
Current database content for version 2014.3 released 5th Nov 2014.
|Target class||Number of human targets‡|
|G protein-coupled receptors including orphans||388|
|Orphan G protein-coupled receptors*||129|
|Other 7TM proteins||6|
|Nuclear hormone receptors|
|Ligand-gated ion channels|
|Voltage-gated ion channels|
|Other ion channels|
|Other protein targets|
|Total number of targets|
|Chemical class||Number of ligands|
|Other peptides including synthetic peptides|
|Drugs with INNs|
|Total number of ligands|
|Number of curated binding constants|
|Number of binding constants from large-scale screens|
|Number of references|
‡ Measured by the number of distinct human UniProt entries included in the database for a given target class.
* Orphans are defined as proteins having similarity to receptors but whose endogenous ligands have not yet been conclusively identified.
The Guide to PHARMACOLOGY database is licensed under the Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL). Its contents are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.
Founded in 1959 as a section of the International Union of Physiological Sciences, the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) has been independent since 1966. IUPHAR is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and participates in the work of its scientific committees. It receives international recognition, particularly by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The IUPHAR Committee on Receptor Nomenclature and Drug Classification (NC-IUPHAR), founded in 1987, is chaired by Michael Spedding (France) and has the mission of issuing guidelines for receptor and ion channel classification, addressing the main issues in pharmacology today, classifying the major receptor and ion channel systems, facilitating the interface between the discovery of new sequences from the Human Genome Project and the designation of the derived proteins as functional receptors and ion channels and maintaining a website (the IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY portal) with access to data on all known receptor systems, freely available to all scientists, anywhere in the world. NC-IUPHAR publishes articles on receptor nomenclature and guidelines for terminology in Pharmacological Reviews, in collaboration with ASPET, and also publishes reviews and editorials on other topics in the British Journal of Pharmacology.
Click here for the full publication list.
The British Pharmacological Society (BPS) has, at its heart, the development and promotion of pharmacology and of those who are training and working in the field. With around 3000 members from 60 countries around the world, it is an organization with international reach.
BPS covers the whole spectrum of pharmacology, including laboratory, clinical, and toxicological aspects, and supports its members at work in academia, industry and the health service by providing high quality scientific meetings and educational activities, through policy initiatives, and through its journals, the British Journal of Pharmacology and the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY (formerly The Guide to Receptors and Channels (GRAC)) is published in the British Journal of Pharmacology as a publication snapshot created from the IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY summary pages, with essential information on drug targets. This data is provided succinctly, so that a newcomer to a particular target group can identify the main elements "at a glance". BPS is proud of the role this popular resource will play alongside the database of our project partners, the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR).
BPS welcomes applications for membership from all those involved in pharmacology or related disciplines, and offers complimentary or reduced rates at scientific meetings, complimentary access to its journals and a range of bursaries, travel grants and awards to encourage our members in their scientific careers.