Journal of Biological Chemistry selects Vanderbilt-Leipzig article as paper of the week

/ March 14, 2016/ News, Research

The joint publication of Hu, Stern, Gimenez, Wanka, Zhu, Rossi, Meister, Inoue, Beck-Sickinger, Gurevich and Wess was named as “Paper of the Week” by the Journal of Biological Chemistry’s editorial board, landing it in the top 2 percent of all papers published over the year in the journal.

The joint publication focussed on designer receptors exclusively activated by a designer drug – short DREADDs. This are CNO sensitive designer G protein-coupled receptors which are able to activate heterotrimeric G proteins and also trigger arrestin-dependent signaling. In the present study the development of a mutationally modified version of a non-biased DREADD derived from the M3 muscarinic receptor that can activate Gq/11 with high efficacy but lacks the ability to interact with arrestins. This novel Gq/11-biased DREADD represents a powerful new tool to study the physiological relevance of Gq/11-dependent signaling in distinct tissues and cell types, in the absence of arrestinmediated cellular effects.

The great advantage of DREADD technology is that it allows the activation of distinct signaling pathways in a particular cell type in vivo. As a consequence, such DREADD studies offer direct insights into the cellular basis of an observed physiological or behavioral response.

Publication: Hu, Stern, Gimenez, Wanka, Zhu, Rossi, Meister, Inoue, Beck-Sickinger, Gurevich, Wess (2016): A G Protein-Biased Designer G Protein-Coupled Receptor Useful for Studying the Physiological Relevance of Gq/11-Dependent Signaling Pathways. JBC. February 5, 2016. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M115.702282.