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The structure and function of the human ghrelin receptor

Kendrick, Rachel (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

The peptide hormone, ghrelin, exerts its physiological effects through a G-protein-coupled receptor called the ghrelin-R. The ghrelin-R displays a high degree of constitutive activity, signalling through the inositol phosphate pathway in the absence of bound agonist. TMs III and VI have been reported to be central to the activation of Family A GPCRs, with interactions between the two helices stabilising the ground state. During activation conformational rearrangements result in these interactions being broken, with new contacts forming and stabilising the active state. Investigation of the ghrelin-R constitutive activity gives an insight into the mechanisms involved in receptor activation. In this study the role of specific individual residues in the ghrelin-R has been investigated and the effect of disrupting or introducing intramolecular interactions was addressed. Site-directed mutagenesis and functional assays revealed that ghrelin-R constitutive activity can be increased and decreased with mutation of residues within the TM domains, specifically TMs III, VI and VII. The extracellular loops have been found to be involved in ligand binding and activation in a number of Family A GPCRs. The residues within ECL2 of the ghrelin-R were systematically mutated to alanine to determine their role. In particular, one residue, Asn196, was identified as being critical in ghrelin-R function and may be forming stabilising interactions which maintain ghrelin-R constitutive activity. The data presented in this thesis provide an insight into the structure and function of the ghrelin-R and the underlying molecular mechanisms of ghrelin-R constitutive activity.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Wheatley, Mark
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Biosciences
Subjects:Q Science (General)
QH426 Genetics
QH Natural history
QH301 Biology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1289
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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