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Structure to Function


Upon completion of the human genome project over 800 G protein-coupled receptor 1 (GPCR) genes, subdivided into five categories, were identified. These receptors sense a diverse array of stimuli, including peptides, ions, lipid analogues, light and odour, in a discriminating fashion. Subsequently, they transduce a signal from the ligand-receptor complex into numerous cellular responses. The importance of GPCRs is further reflected in the fact that they constitute the most common target for therapeutic drugs across a 2 wide range of human disorders. Phylogenetic analysis of GPCRs produced the GRAFS classification system, which subdivides GPCRs into five discrete families: glutamate, rhodopsin, adhesion, frizzled/taste2 and secretin receptors. The adhesion-GPCR family 2 can be further subdivided into eight groups. The field of adhesion-GPCR biology has indeed become large enough to require a volume dedicated solely to this field. The contributors to this book have made a courageous effort to address the key concepts of adhesion-GPCR biology, including the evolution and biochemistry of adhesion-GPCRs; there are extensive discussions on the functional nature of these receptors during development, the immune response and tumourgenesis. Finally, there are chapters dedicated to adhesion-GPCR signalling, an area of intense investigation.

Simon Yona, PhD, graduated from Kings College, University London with a BSc in Physiology and a MSc in Pharmacology, before completing a PhD with Prof. R.J. Flower FRS and Prof. M. Perretti, at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, University of London. Following his doctorate Simon took up a Postdoctoral Research position with Prof. S. Gordon FRS, at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, where he investigated the roles and functions of the leukocyte restricted adhesion-GPCRs. Dr. Yona moved from Oxford to join the group of Prof. S. Jung, at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, when he was awarded a Federation of European Biochemical Societies, International Fellowship. Currently he is investigating the developmental profile of mononuclear phagocytes in a number of pathologies. Martin Stacey, DPhil (Oxon), graduated from Hertford College, University of Oxford with an MBiochem before completing a DPhil in the laboratory of Prof. S. Gordon FRS. He continued working at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology for a number of years where he cloned and characterized leukocyte adhesion-GPCRs and demonstrated the existence of their cell surface ligands. More recently, Dr. Stacey has been appointed as a Lecturer of Immunology, at the University of Leeds where his laboratory focuses on adhesion-GPCRs and role of myeloid cells in human disease.