Analysis of calcitonin receptor binding and function [ 2007 - 2008 ]

Also known as: How do calcitonin receptors work?

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Patrick Sexton (Principal investigator) ,  Prof Laurence Miller Prof Ruben Abagyan

Brief description Receptors form a basic intermediary as the acceptor site for signals that are transmitted between the cells that make up our body. Modulation of receptors, therefore, forms a key target in our ability to treat disease. The largest class of receptors is the superfamily of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which transmit signals within a cell via proteins called G proteins. GPCRs form between 1 and 5% of the entire repertoire of human genes. One group of GPCRs provide the target for small protein molecules that cirulate through the body. One such circulating molecule is calcitonin, a peptide that plays an important role in maintaining circulating calcium levels in the body, which is essential for proper maintenance of the skeleton. As a consequence of this action, calcitonin is an important clinically used tool in the treatment of bone disease such as osteoporosis and Paget's disease. Due to the molecular nature of calcitonin and its receptors (and other related receptors) that have a broad, complex mechanism of interaction, we have very little definitive information on how calcitonin interfaces with its receptor to signal to target cells. The current project utilises a novel method of permanently linking calcitonin to its receptor, allowing identification of how the two components come together. Furthermore, the project will explore the functional consequence of naturally occuring genetic variation (genotype) and also examine whether the occurence of specific calcitonin receptor genotype is correlated with disease markers for osteoporosis and obesity. This information provides important fundamentals for understanding how this and related receptors work and the potential for rational design of improved theraupeutic tools.

Funding Amount $AUD 382,821.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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