The family of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) plays a key role in cellular communication and features prominently in all areas of biology and human health. GPCRs are one of the most favored targets in modern drug discovery. Understanding the cellular and molecular principles that underlie GPCR synthesis, trafficking, modification, signaling, desensitization and degradation are critical and urgent priorities for biology and for the pharmaceutical industry. Traditionally, GPCRs have been studied most intensively by functional expression, but many of the principles derived from such in vitro work have not been fully explored in vivo. The purpose of our workshop is to explore the technical and conceptual issues associated with the analysis of GPCR functions from in vitro to in vivo.
We have organized this workshop on GPCR function to help build bridges between those in the GPCR drug development field (principally in vitro) and those studying GPCR function in biological systems (principally in vivo). The major goal of our meeting is to dovetail these two schools of research effort. This cross-fertilization of ideas and approaches will help define fundamental principles of GPCR signaling. We will capitalize on the experiences of diverse participants to help construct future questions that will cut across different model systems and address five major issues in GPCR biology:
To help build that bridge, our Program will feature intensive discussions by sub-groups of participants
(i) Structural and functional aspects of GPCRs
(ii) Intracellular scaffolds and context-dependent signaling
(iii) Temporal regulation of GPCR actions
(iv) Non-canonical GPCR signaling
(v) Measuring GPCR activities in real-time in vivo