GPCRs team Oulu

Research group information

Contact information

Research group leader

  • Professor
    Ulla Petäjä-Repo

Research group description

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are major targets of therapeutic drugs. These plasma membrane proteins mediate extracellular signals into cellular responses throughout the body, in the nervous system as well as in peripheral tissues. The mechanisms regulating GPCR function are still poorly understood, and the physiological role and natural activating ligands for several receptors have remained unknown. Thus, the full potential of GPCRs in drug discovery awaits new discoveries. The project will decipher novel cell biological phenomena that have relevance at various levels, from cells to patients. Our aim is to gain a comprehensive understanding of mechanisms that govern functional receptor levels at the cell surface. We use a wide variety of methods, ranging from the molecular level to animal experimentation, and utilize several model receptors that have a role in neurodegenerative disorders, pain management, as well as cardiovascular diseases.

Our team

Where are we headed

The overall aim of the project is to unravel unknown processes that regulate functionally active GPCRs. We are particularly intrigued on how GPCRs are processed and transported to the cell surface during biosynthesis, and how their signaling activity is regulated. The project outcome will be twofold, providing a better understanding of GPCR processing, trafficking and regulation, and allowing a new prospective to modulate the activity of these therapeutically important proteins.

Our main collaborators

  • Prof. Michel Bouvier, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada
  • Prof. Henrik Clausen, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Prof. Risto Kerkelä, University of Oulu
  • Prof. Francisco Ciruela, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • Prof. Paul Saftig, Christian Albrechts University Kiel, Kiel, Germany

How to find us

Research Unit of Biomedicine, PoBox 5000 (Aapistie 5B), FI-90014 University of Oulu

ulla.petaja-repo[at]oulu.fi