Drug discovery: investigation of signalling by GPCRS using novel cellular biosensors

GPCRs are the targets for ~30% of all currently used therapeutic drugs. It is critical to understand how these receptors are activated, how they alter cellular function, how such responses are switched off, and how other cellular components can modulate their activity.

GPCRs interact with a range of other proteins and these interactions govern their function and modulation. Our laboratory has a range of advanced cutting-edge technologies available for the study of GPCRs allowing interacting partners and signalling profiles to be determined.

These include novel Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Techniques (BRET)-based biosensors. BRET is a technology that places light-emitting labels on proteins, enabling their interactions to be examined in living cells, and is uniquely suited to the study of integral membrane proteins such as GPCRs. BRET-based biosensors allow us to closely monitor intermolecular signalling in diverse cellular compartments in real time.

A complete understanding of the mechanisms of GPCR activation and signalling complexity is crucially important for drug development targeting these receptors. We work with multiple GPCR targets and collaborate with pharmaceutical industry partners including Novartis and Takeda.

Projects are available on multiple GPCR targets with training in molecular and cell biology and numerous BRET techniques to study GPCR interactions and cellular signalling.