Brian K. Kobilka

Stanford University

Primary Section: 42, Medical Physiology and Metabolism
Secondary Section: 29, Biophysics and Computational Biology
Membership Type: Member (elected 2011)

Research Interests

The goal of research in my lab is to characterize the structure and mechanism of activation of G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). As a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Lefkowitz, I contributed to the cloning of six different GPCRs including B2 adrenergic receptor (B2AR). Since establishing my lab at Stanford University in 1990, I have employed a variety of approaches including cell biology, gene disruption in mice, and in vivo physiology to determine the role of specific adrenergic receptor subtypes in normal physiology. During the past 15 years my lab has applied a spectrum of biochemical and biophysical tools to study different aspects of GPCR structure and activation. In 2007 we obtained the first high-resolution crystal structures of the B2AR. The method that we developed to obtain crystals of the B2AR (generating T4 lysozyme fusion proteins) has subsequently been used to crystallize several other GPCRs. More recently we obtained crystal structures of agonist-bound B2AR in both inactive and active states, as well as a crystal structure of the B2AR-Gs complex. These crystallography studies provided the first high-resolution snap-shots of transmembrane signaling by a G protein coupled receptor.

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