Our work focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanisms of G protein-coupled receptors. These are seven-helix transmembrane receptors acting as detectors of signals including odor, light, hormones, neurotransmitters, and as mediators for the entry of HIV-1. Genes encoding these receptors occupy a hefty 3% of the human genome. Of importance is that these receptors are the target of about 60% of drugs used to treat human diseases. In my laboratory we are applying X-ray crystallography to elucidate the atomic structure of seven-helix transmembrane receptors. Genetic and biophysical approaches are also applied to determine the role of specific domains on the function of these receptors.
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