Dr Mark Young
Telephone:+44 (0)29 208 79394
Location:Cardiff School of Biosciences, The Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3AX
I am interested in understanding how the 3D-structure of mammalian P2X receptors relates to their function and cell-signalling in chronic pain and inflammation.
P2X receptors are cell-surface ion channels which are activated by extracellular ATP. Activation leads to a sequence of downstream signalling events which have important consequences for nerve transmission, pain sensation, inflammation and control of smooth muscle tone. For these reasons, drugs which target P2X receptors may well have analgesic or anti-inflammatory actions. The process of drug discovery would be accelerated if high-resolution 3D-structures of mammalian P2X receptors were available, enabling structure-based drug design. In addition, an understanding, at the molecular level, of downstream signalling pathways might open up new targets for therapeutic intervention.
Work in my laboratory is currently centred on two main themes:
- The development of novel eukaryotic over-expression systems for mammalian P2X receptors, in particular the human P2X4 subtype, in order to enable their purification and 3D-structure determination.
- Understanding the molecular basis of downstream signalling following P2X receptor activation.