Friday, November 11, 2016 -
12:00 to 12:50
Specific location: 
Room 201

BMC Seminar Friday 11th November 2016, at 12:00 room 201 Læknagarður

Speaker: Hafsteinn Rannversson, PhD student. University of Copenhagen, Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, Centre for Biopharmaceuticals.

Title: Expanding the genetic code to map the binding site of antidepressant drugs.

Abstract: The neurotransmission of serotonin is tightly regulated by the serotonin transporter (SERT). Affective disorders, such as depression and anxiety, are linked to an imbalance in serotonin neurotransmission, making SERT an important drug target. Despite the well-established role of human SERT (hSERT) in the treatment of depression, the molecular details of antidepressant drug binding are still not fully understood. The incorporation of unnatural amino acids (UAAs) into proteins has proven to be a powerful approach to investigate molecular mechanisms, as well as biological functions, with high spatial and temporal resolution.

This talk will describe the use of nonsense suppression to genetically encode UAAs into hSERT. Specifically, two distinct photocrosslinking UAAs have been introduced at multiple positions in hSERT, and utilized to map the binding site of various antidepressant drugs in hSERT.

Bio: BSc (2007-2010) in Pharmacy from The University of Iceland followed by MSc (2011-2013) in Pharmaceutical Sciences from The University of Copenhagen.

Currently a PhD student (2014 - 2017 (expected finish)) in the Strømgaard group, Center of Biopharmaceuticals (, University of Copenhagen, focusing on utilizing genetic code expansion to investigate structural and dynamic aspects of monoamine transporters.

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