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    Melatonin receptors: signal transduction and role in mental disorders and metabolic diseases

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    Melatonin receptors (MTR) belong to the G protein-coupled seven transmembrane receptor (GPCR) super-family, which is composed of about 750 genes in humans (http://www.gdr3545.com). GPCRs are involved in almost every physiological process and their dysfunction or absence is the cause of multiple diseases. GPCRs are targeted by about half of the drugs prescribed for human diseases. The neurohormone melatonin is involved in several physiological processes such as circadian rhythm regulation, reproduction, and sleep. In humans, three members of the melatonin receptor subfamily have been cloned and are called MT1, MT2 and GPR50. Melatonin, which is secreted by the pineal gland in a circadian manner with highest concentrations during the night, targets MT1 and MT2 receptors.  In contrast, GPR50 does not bind to melatonin or any other known ligand and thus can be classified among orphan GPCRs.

    Research aims

    1) To understand the impact of receptor oligomerization and receptor-associated complexes on MTR function.
    2) To elucidate the role of MTR in mental disorders and in metabolic diseases.

    Research Topics

     

    A)    Oligomerization of MTR
    B)    The interacting partners of MTR
    C)    The MTR family and mental disorders
    D)    MTR in metabolic disorders

    Team

    Current team members: