Protein regulation by lipids

G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) are the largest family of cell surface receptors found in mammalian organisms.  These receptors are a major target for drug development.  Dr. Romero is interested in the dynamics and traffic of GPCR, with special emphasis on the parathyroid hormone receptor type 1 (PTH1R) and Frizzled receptors.  His approach is based on the use and development of novel optical techniques to study membrane proteins and their interactions with other cellular components in live cells. These studies are complemented with functional assays using biochemical, cell biology and animal models.           

Dr. Romero’s research focuses on two main areas:  a) the role of the PDZ proteins sodium-hydrogen exchange regulatory factor (NHERF1) and Disheveled-2 in the regulation of the dynamics and traffic of GPCR; and b) the role of phospholipase D in the regulation of receptor traffic and function.              

Dr. Romero’s approach is based primarily on the analysis of the physical properties of molecules of interest in live cells, using advanced optical techniques such as confocal microscopy, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), total internal reflection microscopy (TIRFM), image correlation spectroscopy (ICS), quantum dots, and others.  Using these techniques, Dr. Romero has developed novel methods to examine protein-protein interactions in the temporal domain.  For example, he has recently demonstrated that the PTH1R is tethered to the cytoskeleton and accumulates in the vicinity of subjacent actin stress fibers, forming bundles that are highly dynamic structures, moving along these bundles much more rapidly than between them.



PhD 1980, University of Virginia

Postdoctoral Training

1986, University of Virginia

Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology
University of Pittsburgh
W 1345 Biomedical Science Tower
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Phone: (412) 624-8777
Fax: (412) 648-1945


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