Chemokine & Cannabinoid receptors

Our research focuses on dimers between Chemokine receptors and Cannabinoid receptors. These are members of the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) family. Both have been shown to be overexpressed in different cancers and to contribute to proliferation, dissemination and metastasis. Several drugs have been developed to target GPCRs but their clinical success has been limited. A new concept has been emerging on the field of GPCRs: GPCRs can combine between themselves to form so called heterodimers. These complexes have signalling and regulation capability that differ from those of the individual GPCRs that make up the dimers. We believe that heterodimers may have a major role in cancer development and could be excellent therapeutic targets. Our hypothesis is that when these receptors are overexpressed in tumour cells they combine among themselves to form heterodimers leading to aberrant cell signalling. We believe that through understanding how these heterodimers form in cancer cells and how they alter cell signalling we can begin to design molecules that target tumour cells that express the dimers.