A04 – Utilization of Simian Immunodeficiency Viruses to discover novel ligands of G protein-coupled receptors (Frank Kirchhoff)

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are not only involved in many physiological processes and important drug targets but also critical cofactors for infection by human and simian immunodeficiency viruses (HIV and SIV, respectively). This project, utilizes SIV and HIV-2 as tools to characterize novel ligands of GPCRs playing roles in inflammation and cancer. It discovered that fragments of Cystatin C block GPR15-mediated virus infection without interfering with the physiological signaling function of this GPCR. Goals of the 2nd funding period are to determine the underlying mechanisms and to reveal whether proteolytic cleavage of abundant circulating proteins by immune-activated proteases frequently generates as-yet-unknown GPCR ligands.

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Principal Investigator

Kirchhoff, Frank, Prof. Dr. Dr.

Institute of Molecular Virology
Ulm University Medical Center
Meyerhofstr. 1
89081 Ulm
Tel: 0731 50065150