Laboratory of Receptor Cell Biology


Laboratory investigates functions of cell receptors. First area is adhesion G-protein coupled receptor CIRL. CIRLs are natural hybrids of two protein classes – signal receptors and cell adhesion molecules. These heptahelical receptors are of interest because of their potential to couple extracellular adhesion interactions with G protein-mediated intracellular signaling. However, the natural ligand(s) of CIRLs remained completely unknown to date.

Second direction concerns receptor tyrosine kinase – IRR (insulin receptor-related receptor). IRR is a member of the family of three structurally related receptors tyrosine kinases that includes insulin receptor (IR) and insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-IR). Natural agonists of the latter two are endogenous peptides: insulin and two insulin-like growth factors, IGF-I and IGF-II. The physiological role of IRR has remained enigmatic primarily because no endogenous ligands for IRR have been identified since its discovery in 1989, despite significant efforts that included the genome analysis.

Selected publications

Alexander Petrenko