NOV 19, 2020 9:00 AM PST

From Protein Structures to Drug Discovery: Novel therapeutic opportunities.

Speaker
  • Postdoctoral researcher - The Institute of Medical Physics and Biophysics, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
    Biography

      My name is Amal, I am currently a Postdoc at the Protein X-ray Crystallography and Signal Transduction, in Charite' Berlin, Germany. I am investigating the signaling activity of Adhesion G protein- coupled receptors (aGPCRs), one of the 5 main families in the GPCR superfamily with atypical characteristics.These receptors are important in cell-cell adhesion and interaction with extracellular matrix proteins. my main aim is to understand their molecular mechanism of signaling by structural and functional studies. I have a bachelor & master’s degree in industrial biotechnology, where I was studying the application of stem cells in regenerative medicinal applications (mainly cardiovascular diseases). This sparked my interest in science research and I continued my studies for a doctoral degree in cellular and molecular biology in Milan, Italy. I did my PhD in part at the Membrane protein Lab in Oxford, UK and in part at the University of Milan. My main interests are protein structural biology and drug discovery, using X-ray crystallography, cryo-EM, bio-chemical and physical methods for studying protein complexes in human physiological and pathological conditions. In particular, during my Ph.D I focused on the characterization of membrane proteins and nanobodies complexes to understand their pathological mechanism in diseases such as neurodisorders including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, ictus and genetic rare diseases. Therefore, by deciphering the impact of the pathological protein's function and structure, it would be possible to propose and rationally develop therapeutic approaches. I am inspired by scientists or people who made an impact in our history. for example, Steve Jobs and his iconic quote “the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Is motivating me a lot. I hope my current study will further advance our understanding of the mechanistic of rare, complicated diseases in which aGPCRs are involved.


    Abstract

    DATE: November 19, 2020

    TIME: 9:00am PT, 12am ET

     

    Knowledge of the three-dimensional structure of therapeutically relevant targets has become an essential step in the pipeline of drug discovery. The X-ray crystallography has been the primary biophysical method for elucidating the 3D- structure of macromolecules and structural information has paved the way for novel pharmaceutical strategies (such as structure-based drug design (SBDD) method). Moreover, protein structures can be exploited by modeling methods to screen for novel ligands or to rationally design ligands. In this webinar, therapeutically relevant proteins will be presented. First, adhesion G protein- coupled receptors (aGPCRs), known for their exceptionally long ectodomains, which extend several hundreds to thousands of amino acids, and they contain important cell adhesion-related domains, including the GPCR autoproteolysis- inducing (GAIN) domain. this domain is conserved among the aGPCR family and is characterized by playing crucial roles in the receptor activation by undergoing an autoproteolysis process. However, the molecular mechanism of this process and the downstream signal transduction mediated by aGPCRs are poorly understood at the structural level. Many researchers have highlighted the critical role of these receptors in promoting or preventing cancer development. Thus, structural and functional studies would trigger future characterization of aGPCRs to explore their potential as therapeutic targets in cancer.


    Learning Objectives:

    • Discuss membrane proteins, protein complexes, and structural biology
    • Discuss X-ray Crystallography, and Cryo-EM
    • Discuss Nanobody, GPCRs, and Adhesion GPCRs

     

    LabRoots is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E. ® Program. By attending this webinar, you can earn 1 Continuing Education credit once you have viewed the webinar in its entirety.

     


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