Université de Strasbourg

Distinguished Lecture : Brian Kobilka

June 10, 2015
From 11:00 until 12:30
ISIS, Auditorium

Brian Kobilka

Brian Kobilka

Brian K. Kobilka (born May 30, 1955) is an American physiologist and laureate of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Robert Lefkowitz for his work on G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). He is currently a professor at the department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Kobilka's laboratory has determined the molecular structure of the β2-adrenergic receptor. This work has been highly cited by other scientists because GPCRs are important targets for pharmaceutical therapeutics, but notoriously difficult to work with in X-ray crystallography. Before, rhodopsin was the only G-protein coupled receptor where the structure had been determined at high resolution. The β2-adrenergic receptor structure was soon followed by the determination of the molecular structure of several other G-protein coupled receptors.

Structural insights into the dynamic process of G protein coupled receptor signaling

G-protein-coupled receptors, or GPCRs, which snake in and out of the cell membrane, serve as one of the main methods of communication within the body — conveying chemical messages into the cell's interior from outside through the membrane.

Roughly 800 different GPCRs have been identified to date, making them one of the largest families of human proteins. These proteins regulate the beating of our hearts, the workings of our brains and nearly every other physiological process. About 40 percent of all medications target these receptors, including Zyprexa, which is used to treat schizophrenia; the antihistamine Clarinex; and Zantac, which is used for stomach ulcers and gastro-esophageal reflux disease. GPCRs are also involved in some kinds of drug addictions, such as addiction to morphine and other opiates.

G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) conduct the majority of transmembrane responses to hormones and neurotransmitters, and mediate the senses of sight, smell and taste. The b2 adrenergic receptor (b2AR), the M2 muscarinic receptor and the mu-opioid receptor are prototypical Family A GPCRs. Recently the Kobilka lab has  obtained three-dimensional structures of these receptors in inactive and active conformations, as well as a structure of the b2AR in complex with the G protein Gs. Comparison of these structures provides insights into common mechanisms for propagation of conformational changes from the agonist binding pocket to the G protein coupling interface. The lab has used fluorescence, EPR and NMR spectroscopy to study the dynamic properties of the β2AR. Professor Kobilka will discuss what these studies have taught us about allosteric regulation of GPCR structure by G proteins and ligands.


Organised together with Labex Medalis


10:30 Coffee/tea 
11:00 Welcome by Thomas Ebbesen, Director of USIAS
11:05 Introduction by Alain Beretz, President of the University of Strasbourg
11:10 Lecture by Brian Kobilka
Structural insights into the dynamic process of G protein coupled receptor signaling
12:10 Discussion
12:30 Drinks




Logo Medalis


France 2030