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Dissecting Dopamine D2 Receptor Signaling

Donthamsetti, Prashant Chandra

Dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that activates G protein and arrestin signaling molecules. D2R antagonism has been a hallmark of antipsychotic medications for more than half a century. However, this drug-class is associated with substantial side effects that decrease quality of life and medication compliance. The development of novel antipsychotic medications with superior therapeutic and side effect profiles has been hampered in part due to a poor understanding of the specific D2R populations and downstream signaling molecules that must be blocked to confer therapeutic efficacy. It has been proposed that antipsychotic medications confer their effects through the blockade of arrestin but not G protein signaling downstream of D2R, and thus substantial efforts have gone towards the development of ligands that selectively block arrestin signaling. However, this approach suffers from several major limitations, namely that blockade of G protein signaling may also be important in conferring antipsychotic effects. Moreover, currently available pharmacological and genetic tools that have been used to probe G protein and arrestin signaling downstream of D2R in vivo suffer from on- and off-target effects that add substantial confounds to our understanding of these processes. Herein, we describe the development of several tools that can be used to probe G protein and arrestin-mediated processes in vivo with high specificity, as well as mechanisms by which these processes are activated.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Pharmacology and Molecular Signaling
Thesis Advisors
Javitch, Jonathan A.
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 21, 2015