Molecular Structure of Melanocortin receptors and their accessory proteins
Funding: Latvian Council of Science
Project number: 364/2012
Project manager: Dr.biol.D.Fridmanis
GPCR family is the largest group of membrane receptors. They are the targets for 40% of modern drugs, thus solving their molecular structure is crucial. Protein X-ray crystallography is the method of choice for determination of large protein molecular structure. ACTHR is one of the five MCRs, which are regulating multitude of vital functions. Among other MCRs ACTHR stands out with amazing specificity, it binds only ACTH and is transported to cell membrane only in the presence of MRAP. The aim of the this study is to determine the molecular structure of ACTHR and ACTHR–MRAP complex. To reach this goal we shall employ Baculovirus expression system for production, affinity chromatography for purification, lipidic cubic phases for crystallization and x-ray crystallography for structure determination. The results of this study shall broaden the understanding on molecular aspects of GPCR action and have a potential of being employed in generation of novel pharmaceutical compounds.