Signaling processes of receptors

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Head of the Group

Prof. Dr. Martin Lohse

Contact

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Uckert

31.1: Max Delbrück House (Hochbau)

Room 4002

Tel. 9406-3196

Fax. 9406-3306

Contact


A „neuron-like“ PC12 cell, which expresses fluorescently labeled α2A-adrenergic receptors. When these receptors are activated by adrenaline, their fluorescence changes and turns within about 100 ms from green (inactive – „off“) to red (active – „on“).

Our group focuses on the mechanisms of activation and signalling by of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR), and subsequent downstream events which lead to alterations in cell function. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are a large family of approximately 800 members, which include receptors for light, taste and smell, but also many receptors for transmitters and hormones. They are also the most important group of targets for drugs, for example beta blockers, antihistamines and opiates. All GPCRs share common structural features, presumably also common activation mechanisms, and they all signal via heterotrimeric G proteins (Gαβγ) and – at later points upon activation, via β-arrestins. We use a variety of biochemical and pharmacological methods as well as new microscopic techniques to study the mechanisms of their function and their potential to serve as targets for innovative drug therapies.