Guide to PHARMACOLOGY
Simon D. Harding1
, Jane Armstrong1
, Elena Faccenda1
, Adam J. Pawson1
, Joanna L. Sharman1
, Stephen P.H. Alexander2
, Anthony P. Davenport3
, Michael Spedding4
, Jamie A.
Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK. 2
School of Life Sciences, University of Notngham Medical School, Notngham, UK. 3
Experimental Medicine and
Immunotherapeutcs, University of Cambridge, Cambridge. 4
Spedding Research Solutons SAS, Paris, France. * The Internatonal Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology Commitee on Receptor
Nomenclature and Drug Classifcaton.
The IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY (GtoPdb) is an open, expert-driven
database of pharmacological targets and the substances that act on them . It is a
joint initatve between the Britsh Pharmacological Society (BPS) and the Internatonal
Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR), which aims to cover the human
targets of licensed drugs and other likely targets of future therapeutcs.
The informaton is presented at two levels:
1. Overviews of the key propertes, selectve ligands and further reading for a wide
range of human biological targets, which form the basis for the Concise Guide to
PHARMACOLOGY (CGTP) .
2. Detailed pharmacological, functonal and clinical informaton for a subset of
All data are manually curated from the primary literature and reviewed by an
internatonal network of >500 experts in 96 subcommitees of the IUPHAR Commitee
on Receptor Nomenclature and Drug Classifcaton (NC-IUPHAR).
2. Current database content
~ 1,700 established or potental data-supported drug targets
~ 1,100 additonal related proteins
> 9,000 ligands, over 5,500 with quanttatve interacton data
> 1,300 approved drugs, >800 with quanttatve informaton
3. New search tools
Various search tools are available to fnd targets and ligands by name, ID, reference,
chemical structure similarity, or BLAST sequence search. A new Pharmacology Search
Tool (Fig. 1) allows users to upload lists of protein IDs and fnd ligands that modulate
them, from both the GtoPdb and ChEMBL  databases.
4. Disease informaton
A list of diseases associated to targets and ligands in GtoPdb is now available.
(A) Disease list (B) A disease summary for ALL
(A) Pharmacology Search Tool with
searching restricted to 3 interactons per
target. (B) Results show actvity data
summarised from GtoPdb and ChEMBL
Results from searches can be
downloaded as a CSV fle
5. Navigatng target and ligand families
Targets are organised by class, which can be browsed as a tree with families and
subfamilies (A). Ligands have recently been organised into related families and groups
(B). Each family/group page lists summary informaton for the ligands, with links to
more detailed pages (C).
6. Comparing ligand afnity across species
Ligand actvity graphs provide a quick way to visualise afntty at diferent targets and
across species. Box plots (A) summaries standardised actvity data from GtoPdb and
ChEMBL. Individual data points, assay details and references are provided in an
accompanying table (B).
Chart and table showing palosuran actvity at human and rat UT receptors
7. Interoperability, RDF and data access
As part of our contnuing efort to increase interoperability of GtoPdb we have:
Created an RDF version of GtoPdb
Submited ligands to WikiPathways
Worked with Bioschemas to implement Schema.org mark-up
Set up a new subcommitee of Data Interoperability (Chaired by Dr. Alasdair Gray)
GtoPdb RDF provided in N3 format with metadata generate in accordance with W3C
HCLS Profle to ensure FAIR compliance. Development of SPARQL end-point is
GtoPdb data are available to download in various formats:
Lists of targets, ligands and interactons in CSV format
REST web services for computatonal access to data in JSON format
SQL database dump fles
Interacton data are now available in RDF format for semantc integraton
1. Harding SD, et al. (2018). Nucl. Acids Res. 46 (Issue D1): D1091-D1106.
2. Alexander SPH, et al. (2017). Br J Pharmacol. 174 (Suppl 1): S1-S446.
3. Bento AP, et al. (2014). Nucl. Acids Res. 42 (Database Issue): D1083-D1090.
In additon, for a “how-to” guide on using GtoPdb see: Sharman JL, et al. (2018) Accessing
Expert Curated Pharmacological Data in the IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY.‐ Curr
Protoc Bioinformatcs. 61: 1.34.1-1.34.46.
www.guidetopharmacology.org firstname.lastname@example.org @GuidetoPHARM