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Projects. Life and Matter Sciences

Study of the tissue-specific interactome of the GRK2 node involved in insulin resistance and obesity: pathological repercussions

Lead Researcher:
Cristina Murga Montesinos

Research Centre:
Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa. CSIC-UAM.


Cristina Murga MontesinosProtein GRK2 ("G protein-bound receptor kinase 2") is a central and strategic node in cell signalling networks in different tissues. Recently GRK2 has been shown to be able to regulate different families of membrane receptors and to interact with important signalling proteins, which could explain the role of GRK2 in different pathologies. Our research team has discovered that GRK2 expression increases in situations involving insulin resistance and obesity, and has also identified new physical and functional interactions of GRK2 with proteins that are extremely important for pathologies, such as IRS1 and p38MAPK, among others.

The main aims of this project are: 1.- To characterise the relevant interactome of GRK2 that is specific to tissues and cell types (adipose, pancreas, liver, macrophages) involved in the genesis or development of insulin resistance and obesity. 2.- To study which changes in the aforementioned interactome underlie the development of lipotoxicity, and inflammatory processes in these contexts. 3.- To evaluate the function impact of the changes in GRK2 levels detected in the aforementioned pathologies on the selection of its interactome in each tissue, and 4.- To analyse the possibility of modulating the interactome or the expression of GRK2 as a new therapeutic strategy.

Researcher's website:

Cristina Murga Montesinos

Graduate in Biology, specialising in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Doctor in Science from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). She was awarded the second National Prize for University Studies when she completed her degree.

She obtained a postdoctoral grant for studies abroad from the Ministry of Education for two years, followed by a Fogarty grant up to a total of 4.5 years in which she undertook postdoctoral research in National Health Institutes of the USA (Bethesda, Maryland) from 1996 to 2001.

She returned to Spain with a Doctorate return contract, after which she obtained a "Ramón y Cajal" contract in the first Official Announcement (2001). She was part-time Professor, Doctor since 2004, and Tenured Professor from 2010 in the UAM, where she was the representative on the board of the Science Faculty and in the Administrative Council. She undertakes her research in the Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, where she has been vice-director since 2014.

She has published 37 articles in indexed international journals with more than 1,800 citations, and she is co-inventor in 3 patents. She has been the main researcher in ten public and private research projects and she has collaborated in fifteen.

*All intellectual property rights belong to the author. Reproduction of all or part of the work without permission from the author is prohibited.
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