Molecular & Cellular Biology Program firstname.lastname@example.org University of Iowa 357 Medical Research Center Iowa City, IA 52242-1182 Phone: 319-335-7748 Fax: 319-335-7656
Molecular mechanisms of sensory signal transduction; signaling via heterotrimeric G proteins; photoreceptors and visual transduction
Heterotrimeric GTP-binding proteins (G proteins) are utilized by cells to transduce signals from the extracellular environment through surface receptors to intracellular effector proteins. One of the best model systems for studying mechanisms of G-protein signaling is the rod photoreceptor visual transduction cascade. Our laboratory focuses on investigation of specific protein-protein interactions between rhodopsin, the rod G protein - transducin, and the effector enzyme - cGMP-phosphodiesterase. We have begun to study the regulation of transducin and other G proteins by various modulators of G-protein signaling, such as RGS and GPR-proteins. The high level of sequence homology between different types of G proteins, as well as the structural similarities observed for their crystal structures suggest that numerous G-protein signaling systems have similar mechanisms of activation. The ultimate goal is to understand these mechanisms at the molecular level.
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