Project exchange

Do you have project idea or running project that would benefit from collaboration within WG3?Are you looking for a specific contribution to this project?Are you planning to expand and exploit this project for a multicentre grant proposal?Is this project somehow related to the COVID-19 pandemic?Partner name/InstitutionResearch Group NameInstitutionEmail
Title: Design of optogenetic inhibitors or activators of GPCRs.

Roadmap: Design of binder peptides or relying on known peptide-based inhibitors. Relying on our experience in mechanisms of optogenetic enzyme activation, conferring light-switchability to these peptides. Using the established principles of subcellular targeting of channelrhodopsins or ion pumps, these activators and inhibitors can be targeted as well.

Motivation: Probing the impact of drugs with subsecond temporal resolution and subcellular spatial resolution. By these means, cross-activation/inhibition can be minimized, which is a bottleneck of drug-based approaches.
Conferring/engineering light-dependent photodimerization, engineering affinity and interaction sites, photokinetic rates and action spectra of the optogenetic tools.Humboldt-University of BerlinExperimental Biophysics - Hegemann labHumboldt-University of Berlin
Our main projects focus on three overarching goals:

1) Development of various high-quality neuromodulator sensors (e.g. monoamines, neuropeptides, neurohormones), optimized for in vitro and in vivo imaging with high sensitivity;

2) Deployment of these sensors in brain slices and awake behaving animals to investigate the spatial and temporal scales of neuromodulatory signals, as well as their relationship with neural circuit activity and animal behavior;

3) To establish a platform for high-throughput drug screening based on these innovative optical tools, and use it to discover and investigate novel pharmacologically active compounds to aid in human disease treatment and prevention.
I have developed novel genetically encoded biosensors based on specific GPCR subtypes.
I am looking for collaborators that could provide selected chemical libraries selected based on virtual docking or other screens. I am interested in testing such libraries using my sensor technology.
Tommaso Patriarchi / University of ZurichPatriarchiUniversity of Zurich
Function of GPR27: we have identified active compound for the orphan GPR27 whose precise function is unknown (Dupuis et al, PMID:28314853) but is implicated in metabolism (insulin resistance) and highly expressed in the hippocampus . In parallel, we have developed mouse models to study the receptorWhat we would need to complement the project is determination of the structure.What we would need to complement the project is determination of the structure. Currently, the project is run with another lab in Germany (Bonn), so a multicenter project is feasible (already 2 people). Complementary expertise could be modelling and structure determination.NoJulien Hanson / University of LiègeLaboratory of Molecular PharmacologyUniversity of Liège
More broadly, my lab is focused on the cellular, molecular and in vivo pharmacology of orphan GPCR, with an important focus on endogenous/surrogate ligand discoverySeveral input on this project can be foreseen:
- Screening: we do screening on assays we develop ourselves but on a rather limited scale (library of around 50,000 compounds). Any lab with more important throughput/larger libraries would add value
- Modelisation: we have no expertise on GPCR in silico models
- Structure: determination of orphan GPCR structure by cryo-EM/X-Ray would also be useful
-Medicinal chemistry: our activity in chemistry is currently limited
Yes, considering the above, on the specific topic of Orphan GPCR, we are actively looking for expertise outside at the level of screening, structural determination, modeling and chemistry.NoJulien Hanson / University of LiègeLaboratory of Molecular PharmacologyUniversity of Liège
We are a medicinal Chemistry Group which explores A2B antagonists as anticancer agents, therefore we are interested in any collaboration on this topic.We are open to exploit it for a multicentre Grant proposal. We want to study the effect of our A2B antagonists in cancer models.Maria Majellaro / Celtarys Research-CIQUS-USCCeltrays Research-ComBioMed GroupCIQUS-USC
Project-1 is focused on the design and synthesis of new entities targeting the endocannabinoid system (CB1; CB2) with special emphasis on bias signaling activity. Project-2 is focused on the design and synthesis of new entities targeting the orphan receptors GPR55 and GPR18.- Molecular biologists to fully unravel the functional profile of our cannabinoids
- In vitro and in vivo ADME-Tox assays. With our knowledge of the GPR55 and GPR18 models and having compounds acting on these receptors, we are interested in developping pharmacological tools.
Nadine Jagerovic / Spanish Research CouncilModulators of the Endocannabinoid SystemMedicinal Chemistry Institute
Dynamic pharmacophore models for the identification of specific GPCR modulators. (flexible on the target and the functional effect)testing possibilities for virtual screening results (typically ~10 compounds, but flexible).noMarcel BermudezMolecular Design Lab (Wolber lab)Freie Universität Berlin
We are running the characterization of adenosine A3R receptor using computational biochemistry and mutagenesis in collaboration with various antagonists. We are optimizing heat compounds from virtual-screening to lead compounds using synthetic chemistry.We are looking for structural biology group for the unresolved A3RA panel of scientists that will undertake the development of new antagonists against ARs and solve the structures of the unresolved A3 and A2B receptorsnoAntonios KolocourisNational and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Discovery and development of biomarkers for target engagment and efficacy in whole BloodFlow cytometry and extracellular quantificationMSCA industrial fellowships with secondmentNoDomain TherapeuticsDrug Discovery
Identify TAS2R39 agonist specific and not expensive for drug development on food intake processesSomebody whit ability to identify new compounds, not yet defined that bind specifically to TAS2R39Could be interesting to apply for a Path FindernoAnna ArdévolMoBioFoodUniversitat Rovira i Virgili
Synthesis and biological evaluations of anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving mediators

Several specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) have been synthesized by the LIPCHEM-group, see

The LIPCHEM group combines synthetic organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry and total organic synthesis to study the chemistry and biology of specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) i.e. protectins, resolvins and maresins and their analogs, towards different GPCRs.
Molecular modelling of analogs towards individual GPCRs, homology modelling and QSARs, biological evaluations.Literature studies have shown that SPMs have been identified are are up-regulated in patient samples from COVID-19 patients.Trond Vidar Hansen / Department of Pharmacy, Section for Pharmaceutical ChemistryLIPCHEMDepartment of Pharmacy, Section for Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Oslo
Serotonin 5-HT2A and dopamine D2 receptors are deeply involved in physiology and pathophysiology of various neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, anxiety as well as Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, the main objective of this research will be to provide theoretical guidance for the rational drug design and synthesis of novel 5-HT2A and D2 receptor antagonists, as more efficient and safer antipsychotic and antidepressant agents.
Our group focuses on rational drug design of the ligands, with special emphasis on development of novel computer-aided drug design methods for discovery of novel 5-HT2A/D2–R antagonists.
Applied computer-aided drug design methodology are following: MD, VD, SB-VS, 3D-QSAR modeling, pharmacophore modeling, LB-VS, PB-VS, in silico ADMET profiling and optimization).
in vitro GPCR-based screening of the selected compounds.nonoKatarina Nikolic / University of Belgrade, Faculty of PharmacyDepartment of Pharmaceutical chemistry, University of Belgrade, Faculty of PharmacyDepartment of Pharmaceutical chemistry, University of Belgrade, Faculty of Pharmacy


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COST Action CA18133

All cells face the vital challenge of sensing their environments and responding in appropriate ways. How are different signalling pathways activated and modulated in precise and reproducible ways? Filling this gap in knowledge is absolutely necessary to advance the next generation of pharmaceutical drugs.

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