Group leader: Dr Alex Conner
We use molecular and cellular techniques to understand the structure, activation and localisation of large transmembrane proteins. We have identified novel activation mechanisms for the cardiovascular calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor and discovered a new trigger for cellular trafficking of the aquaporin (AQP) family of water pores.
Our research group
We are interested in understanding the docking of ligands and activation of the second largest family of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). We use site-directed mutagenesis to identify key areas of functional importance with focus on the potent vasodilator calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and its receptor. We compare receptors though ligand binding, cell-surface expression, second messenger activation and agonist-mediated internalisation/desensitisation.
We use similar techniques to understand the sub-cellular relocalisation of the water channel transmembrane proteins (aquaporins; AQPs). This is important for a number of processes in health and disease including kidney function, stroke and trauma.
Understanding the second extracellular loop of the calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor
Docking calcitonin gene-related peptide into its receptor as a platform for cardiovascular drug design
The effect of hypotonicity changes to aquaporin sub-cellular reorganisation (aquaporin 1and 4)
Oligomerisation of Aquaporin 4; a functional role
The physiological significance of aquaporin 4 in astrocytes as a model of cytotoxic oedema
Woolley MJ and Conner AC (2013) Comparing the molecular pharmacology of CGRP and adrenomedullin. Curr Protein Pept Sci 14(5):358-74
Conner AC, Bill RM and Conner MT (2013) An emerging consensus on aquaporin translocation as a regulatory mechanism. Mol Membr Biol 30(1):1-12
Vohra S, Taddese B, Conner AC, Poyner DR, Hay DL, Barwell J, Reeves PJ, Upton GJ and Reynolds CA (2012) Similarity between class A and class B G-protein-coupled receptors exemplified through calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor modelling and mutagenesis studies. J R Soc Interface 10(79):20120846
Conner AC, Conner MT, Bland CE, Taylor LH, Brown JE, Parri HR and Bill RM (2012) Rapid aquaporin translocation regulates cellular water flow: mechanism of hypotonicity-induced subcellular localization of aquaporin 1 water channel. J Biol Chem 287(14):11516-25
Barwell J, Woolley MJ, Wheatley M, Conner AC and Poyner DR (2012) The role of the extracellular loops of the CGRP receptor, a family B GPCR. Biochem Soc Trans 40(2):433-7
For full publication list see:
Dr Alex Conner
Mr Philip Kitchen
Mr Luke Taylor
Mr Mike Woolley