Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fun Fact: The 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka

NobelPRobert J. Lefkowitz from Duke University along with Brian Kobilka from Stanford University were just awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their research and discovery of the adrenergic G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR). After they cloned the beta-adrenergic receptor in the 1980s and showed that it had a similar structure to rhodopsin, a receptor found in the eye, they set the foundation for the later discovery of over 1,000 different GPCRs in the human body. Half of all medications work through GPCRs, acting on receptors such as dopamine, serotonin, opioid, histamine, gustatory, olfactory, and melatonin to name a few.

Some recent publications from Dr. Lefkowitz’s lab have cited the use a BMG LABTECH microplate reader to study GPCRs. Amongst other things, his lab has used the NOVOstar microplate reader in a FRET assay to measure intracellular cAMP, a downstream effect of GPCRs (A unique mechanism of beta-blocker action: Carvedilol stimulates beta-arrestin signaling), as well as an intracellular calcium (Ca2+) flux assay, which also measures a downstream effect of GPCRs (Arresting a Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) Channel. Beta-Arrestin Mediates Ubiquitination and Functional Down Regulation of TRPV4 ).

Thank you and congratulations to Drs. Lefkowitz and Kobilka for their ground breaking research into GPCRs.