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BIFI TALK – Javier García-Nafría

4 October, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Título: Cryo-electron microscopy: moving beyond X-ray crystallography for membrane receptors and drug discovery

Ponente: Javier García-Nafría (LMB/MRC, Cambridge, UK-University of Zaragoza)

Día y hora:  4 de octubre a las 13:00 h



Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) has undergone major advances during the last years, with special impact in structural biology of membrane proteins. I will review the advances in cryo-EM technology that made the ¨resolution revolution¨ possible, and then show its application to understand G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). GPCRs are the largest family of membrane proteins in the human body and are a target for ~35% of the currently approved FDA drugs. GPCRs sense a variety of molecules and transduce the signal to the intracellular milieu by coupling to heterotrimeric G-proteins. We used cryo-EM to obtain high-resolution structural information on GPCR-G protein complexes, starting to tackle one of the major questions in the field – the GPCR-G protein selectivity code. I will then analyse the state-of-the-art in using cryo-EM for structure-based drug discovery of membrane proteins.


  1. Cryo-EM structure of the adenosine A2A receptor coupled to an engineered heterotrimeric G protein. García-Nafría J.*, Lee Y.*, Bai X., Carpenter B. & Tate CG. 2018. Elife. May 4;7. pii: e35946.
  1. Cryo-EM structure of the serotonin 5-HT1B receptor coupled to heterotrimeric Go. García-Nafría J., Nehme R., Edwards P., Tate CG. 2018. Nature 558 (7711). 620-62
  1. Cryo-EM structures of GPCRs coupled to Gs, Gi and Go.  García-Nafría J. and Tate CG. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology. 2019, In press.
  1. Cryo-Electron Microscopy: Moving Beyond X-ray Crystal Structures for Drug receptors and Drug development. García-Nafría J. and Tate CG. 2019. Annual Reviews in Pharmacology and Toxicology. 2020. In press (2019 Jul 26. doi: 10.1146.)



4 October, 2019
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Edificio Institutos I+D
Mariano Esquillor, 50018 Zaragoza
Zaragoza, Zaragoza 50018 España
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+34 976762989
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