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Biology Colloquium | Simone Prömel

November 30 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

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Event Details

Speaker: Simone Prömel
Professor of cell biology, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany
Meeting ID: 927 0964 6021
 Passcode: 0fPT11j9
 Guest Session_Simone
Abstract:  Adhesion G protein-coupled receptors (aGPCRs) are an unusual class of GPCRs with a puzzling diversity of functions in health and disease. They set themselves apart from other GPCRs by their structural and functional diversity and their unique features such as extraordinarily long extracellular N termini comprising various domains. With these special N termini, Adhesion GPCRs display a broad repertoire of ways to mediate cell-cell communication and to control cellular characteristics.

To investigate how Adhesion GPCRs shape cellular communication and by which mechanisms, we study Latrophilins as prototypic Adhesion GPCRs, which belong to the oldest members of the receptor class. Using the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model, we found that the Latrophilin homolog LAT-1 coordinates anterior-posterior tissue polarity in the developing embryo and that it controls proliferation of germ cells in adult individuals. Interestingly, both functions are achieved by the receptor via completely different mechanisms. While cell polarity is mediated by a classical G protein cascade (cis signal), cell proliferation is regulated by a function of the Adhesion GPCR, which is completely independent of seven transmembrane domain and C terminus (trans signal). We were able to show that the cis mode coveys a non-polar signal to a polarised cell. The peculiar trans mode is a non-cell-autonomous signal cross-talking with the Notch cascade on the cell membrane.
Thus, Adhesion GPCRs mediate cell polarity and are involved in cell division. Their ability to mediate two distinct signals in different biological contexts constitutes a novel signalling principle of this intriguing GPCR class and might be a key in mediating cellular changes

Speaker’s Bio: Simone Prömel is currently a professor of cell biology at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany. Being a biochemist by training, she completed her Ph.D. at the Institute of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford, UK. During this time, she discovered her love for Adhesion GPCRs and started delineating the molecular mechanisms of the Adhesion GPCR Latrophilin-1.

These extraordinary receptors, about which there was not much known other than that they are huge and somehow play important roles in health and disease, fascinated her so much that she continued working on them when she started her own lab at Leipzig University. There she focused on the different modes of action of Adhesion GPCRs and found that they do not only mediate classical G protein signals into cells but can also communicate solely via their N termini.
Today, she and her team are working on the questions of how Adhesion GPCRs integrate the different signals on a molecular level and how these are translated into physiological functions in various model organisms. Together with Ines Liebscher, Simone is leading an EU-funded COST Network on Adhesion GPCRs: CA18240 Adher´n Rise.


November 30
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm


Department of Biology