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orphan receptor

[orphan receptors]

A general term for cloned receptors the ligand of which has not been identified. Such receptors are identified, for example, by cloning and sequence homologies to known receptors. Their ligands can be found by various techniques, including strategies in which cell expressing the receptor gene adhere to immobilised factors. Orphan receptors for which the ligand has been identified eventually are often said to have been "deorphanized". For techiques employed for deorphanization in a field that has been termed reverse pharmacology see: Civelli et al (2013), Ngo et al (2016), Ahmad et al (2015).

The term deorphanization is used also when a receptor is identified for a ligand for which a receptor was not known previously.

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