A consortium of scientists from both campuses of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has been awarded $2.7 million from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health to study the structural rules that govern a large superfamily of proteins that help regulate critical functions such as reproduction, development and metabolism.
The principal investigators for the three-year study will be Kendall Nettles, an associate professor, and Pat Griffin, professor and chair of the Department of Molecular Therapeutics, both on the Florida campus of TSRI. They will work with Professor Ian Wilson and the Joint Center for Structural Genomics on TSRI's La Jolla campus.
The focus of the new project is nuclear receptors, a superfamily of proteins that mediate hormone, lipid and fatty acid activity inside the cell. Nuclear receptors have been implicated in a number of cancers, including prostate, breast and colon cancers. They also represent excellent targets for drug development, including cancer drugs, birth control and anti-inflammatory agents and treatments for diabetes and metabolic syndrome.