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Content archived on 2024-04-19

Role of neuronal receptors in signal transduction and development


Molecular cloning of G- protein linked receptors. - Methods for determining the ligand for molecularly cloned receptors. - Mapping of neurons. -physiological role of receptors in signal transduction systems. - Role of G- linked receptors in development.
Communication between cells in the nervous system relies primarily on the interactions of transmitters with their receptors. As a consequence, the signal transduction pathway is initiated. In order to understand how communication works at the cellular level, it is important to understand the structures of these receptors.
Using molecular techniques, 4 different receptors have been cloned and their deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequences determined. These receptors have now been introduced into tissue culture cells for expression studies in order to determine the ligands with which these receptors interact. One receptor that has been identified is novel and may represent a new class of molecule that interacts with low density lipoproteins and consequently initiates a signal transduction cascade.
We propose a concerted action in order to form a network of related laboratories to participate in the exchange of materials, workers and ideas. This pan-European network involving five laboratories from four countries will specialise in the application of molecular neurobiology to ligand:receptor systems. The network is multi-disciplinary, ranging from molecular biology, gene cloning to neurophysiology and developmental biology. All the participating laboratories are well-funded by national sources and by international collaboration. For example, the GB and NL laboratories have an EC twinning grant. The specific areas in which training will be given are as follows: 1 Molecular cloning of G-protein linked receptors. 2 Methods for determining the ligand for molecularly cloned receptors and ion channels. 3 Mapping of neurons in simple nervous systems. 4 Determining the physiological role of receptors and other components of signal transduction systems. 5 Understanding the role of G-linked receptors in development. All the laboratories involved in this proposal are conversant with the state-of-the-art techniques. A major aim of our programme will be to facilitate exchanges between our laboratories, all of which share common goals. It appears that this area, which is vitally important for both the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries, is not well-supported in other countries of the EC. We believe that by providing support for exchanges between laboratories then we will be able to compete with the USA and Japan.

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University of Sussex
EU contribution
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BN1 9QG Brighton
United Kingdom

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Participants (4)