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AC: adenylyl cyclase

ACE: angiotensin-converting enzyme

ACh: acetylcholine

AKAP: A-kinase anchoring protein

AMPA: α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid

AMPK: AMP-activated protein kinase

AngII: angiotensin II

ANP: atrial natriuretic peptide

AP-1: activator protein-1 (transcription factor)

Apaf-1: apoptotic activating protease factor 1

ATG: autophagy gene

AT1R: angiotensin subtype 1 receptor

BNP: brain natriuretic peptide

CaM: calmodulin

CAR: constitutive androstane receptor

CNP: C-type natriuretic peptide

CYP: cytochrome P450

DAG: diacylglycerol

DHFR: dihydrofolate reductase

EC50: half-maximally effective concentration

ED50: half-maximally effective dose

EGF: epidermal growth factor

eNOS: endothelial NOS (NOS3)

EPAC: exchange protein activated by cyclic AMP

ER: endoplasmic reticulum

FBP: fructose 1,6-bisphosphate

FXR: farnesoid X receptor

GABA: γ-aminobutyric acid

GC: guanylyl cyclase

GEF: guanine nucleotide exchange factor

GnRH: gonadotropin-releasing hormone

GPCR: G protein-coupled receptor

GRK: GPCR kinase

HMG-CoA: hydroxymethylglutaryl–coenzyme A

HRE: hormone response element

5HT: 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin)

IFN: interferon

IL: interleukin

iNOS: inducible NOS (NOS2)

IP3: inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate

JAK: Janus kinase

JNK: c-Jun N-terminal kinase

Ki: affinity of a competitive antagonist

Kir: inward rectifying K+ channel

LD50: half-maximal lethal dose

LKB1: liver kinase B1

LXR: liver X receptor

MAPK: mitogen-activated protein kinase

MLCK: myosin light chain kinase

mTOR: mechanistic or mammalian target of rapamycin, a protein kinase

mTORC: mechanistic or mammalian target of rapamycin complex

NAM: negative allosteric modulator

NE: norepinephrine

NF-κB: nuclear factor-κB

NMDA: N-methyl-D-aspartate

nNOS: neuronal NOS

NO: nitric oxide

NOS: NO synthase

NPR: natriuretic peptide receptor

NSAID: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug

PAMP: pathogen-associated molecular pattern

PDE: cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase

PAM: positive allosteric modulator

PDGF: platelet-derived growth factor

PI3K: phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase

PIP2: phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate

PK: protein kinase, e.g., PKA, PKB (also known as Akt), PKC

PLC: phospholipase C

PPAR: peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor

PTB: phosphotyrosine-binding

PXR: pregnane X receptor

RAR: retinoic acid receptor

RGS: regulator of G protein signaling

RhoGEF: RhoA guanine nucleotide exchange factor

RIP1: receptor interacting protein 1

ROCK: Rho-associated protein kinase

RXR: retinoid X receptor

SERM: selective estrogen receptor modulator

sGC: soluble guanylyl cyclase

SH2: Src homology 2

SMAC: second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase

SMN1: survival motor neuron protein

STAT: signal transducer and activator of transcription

TGF-β: transforming growth factor β

TLR: toll-like receptor

TNF-α: tumor necrosis factor α

TNFR: TNF-α receptor

TOR: target of rapamycin

TRAIL: TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand

TRP: transient receptor potential

VEGF: vascular endothelial growth factor

VSMC: vascular smooth muscle cell


Pharmacodynamics is the study of the biochemical, cellular, and physiological actions of drugs, including the molecular mechanisms by which these actions are achieved. Most drugs are small molecules that interact with macromolecular entities, or drug targets, intrinsic to the body or to pathogens. Drug targets include receptors for endocrine and paracrine factors, enzymes, voltage-gated ion channels, membrane transporters, and, for pathogens chiefly, structures relevant to cell viability and replication. As such, targets can be located anywhere on or within a cell, including the cell-surface membrane, cytosol, and ...

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