10% Professor University Gent,
Postdoctoral fellowship FWO (continuation position 2006 -…)
Postdoctoral fellowship FWO
"Interactions in the endoplasmatic reticulum, important in the biogenesis of
the dopamine D4 receptor"
fellowship IWT / Innogenetics
"Pharmacological chaperones and the maturation of the dopamine D4 receptor"
Stay abroad: Postdoctoral fellowship
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto, Canada
the dopamine D4 receptor"
BOF Postdoctoral fellowship
University Gent - VIB
"Searching for proteins interacting with the third intracellular loop of the
dopamine D4 receptor"
PhD student, IWT-project / Janssen Research Foundation
Gent - VIB
"Study of inducible systems for the heterologous gene expression of
neurotransmitter receptors in mammalian cells."
started this research group several years ago, as partner of a collaboration
with Janssen Research Foundation (Johnson and Johnson) focusing on the “Study
of inducible systems for the heterologous gene expression of neurotransmitter
receptors in mammalian cells”. This research delved with the development of
pharmaca involved in the regulation of mood, social behavior, schizophrenia,
etc. This topic stimulated us to start studying GPCR physiology and to
investigate the signaling and regulation of some of these neurotransmitter
receptors e.g. the dopamine D2-like receptors, the serotonin 5- HT7
receptor and the µ opioid receptor. This research can show the way to a better
understanding of brain diseases and to the development of an improved and more
first step to unravel a signaling pathway consisted of the identification of
proteins that interact with the receptor of interest. We performed multiple
yeast two-hybrid screenings and identified several important interacting
proteins, which were/are studied in further detail.
the future we will continue our research to obtain a better knowledge of GPCR
physiology. The emphasis will be on the following two research topics:
For a long time it was widely accepted that GPCRs exist and function as a monomer.
This paradigm has begun to shift such that, currently, the majority of the
scientific literature favors the concept that GPCRs function as either dimers
or higher-structure oligomers. Stimulation of such heteromers can lead to
different signals than when each receptor type alone is activated. Bivalent
drugs that can stimulate these heteromers might therefore have additional
We have published on homodimerization of the D4R and
heterodimerization of D4R and D2R. We are further
concentrating on GPCR dimerization and are determining the interaction domain
and the functional consequences of heteromerization. Most
work to date has been in artificial heterologous systems and the in vivo relevance of dimerization of
GPCRs is only beginning to be elucidated and may offer great potential for
better, more selective therapeutic intervention.
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