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MSc BY RESEARCH: Evaluation of novel genetically encoded fluorescent indicators of G-protein coupled receptor signalling

   School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience

About the Project

G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) are the key group of molecular targets for the modern pharmacology of central nervous system. Moreover, many key biological processes in health and disease have been linked to signalling, mediated by GPCR. There versatile signalling proteins detect various molecules and transmitters and convey relevant information towards targets inside the cell using a special family of intracellular signalling partners, the G-proteins.

Understanding biological roles of these receptors has been greatly aided by new molecular tools which enable a new level of resolution and ability to detect events in real time.

Specifically we are interested in recently developed genetically encoded fluorescent indicators (GEFI) for adenosine which appears to play a critical role in neuro-glial coupling in the brain. These constructs utilise the intra-molecular movements within the domains of GPCR to modulate intensity of fluorescence of a modified green fluorescent protein fused into their sequence. As a result, it is possible to monitor adenosine-mediated signalling in living cells in real time by observing fluorescence intensity, which we do using high resolution confocal optics.

The project will involve elements of molecular cloning generation of viral vectors which is required for quality expression of the sensors in cells and tissues and experiments with cultured cells, including astrocytes. We anticipate that new GEFI for another important signalling molecules will appear shortly and those may also become a part of this project.

Funding Notes

This project is for students who can fund the project themselves; there is no financial support.
Please apply to the Faculty of Life Sciences, School of Physiology and Pharmacology, selecting the programme 'MSc by Research'
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