GPCR Drug Discovery

Research group

Group Leader

Jana Selent

The group is focused on the functionality of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) within the context of CNS-related disorders, taking into account: receptor plasticity, activation mechanism, signalling bias, ligand binding, the effect of the membrane and other interaction partners. The ultimate goal is to translate the molecular insights obtained into the design of drug candidates with improved therapeutic profiles.

The main research lines are:

• In-silico Multi-Receptor Profiling of Antipsychotic Drugs, focusing on deciphering the molecular mechanisms of this complex interplay of current antipsychotic drugs that are responsible for their clinical efficacies.

• GPCR Dimers as a Drug Target for the Treatment of Schizophrenia. Our group provides support for the design of bivalent ligands that selectively target a specific GPCR dimer. Once a target is validated, we apply diverse computational tools to obtain first small drug-like molecules towards this target.

• Membrane Lipid-Mediated Effects on GPCR signalling by studying direct and indirect membrane effects on receptor monomers and dimers using all-atom as well as coarse-grained simulation setups.

• Database for GPCR dynamics. The main mission of this project is to provide dynamic insights into crystallized receptors at a publicly accessible platform.




Tomasz Stepniewski Maciej (PhD Student)

Main Publications

• Guixà-González R, Albasanz JL, Rodríguez-Espigares I, Pastor M, Sanz F, Martí-Solano M, Manna M, Martínez-Seara H, Hildebrand PW, Martí M, Selent J. Membrane cholesterol access into a G-protein-coupled receptor. Nat Commun 2017; 8: 14505. IF 11.329. Q1.

• Lally CCM, Bauer B, Selent J, Sommer ME. C-edge loops of arrestin function as a membrane anchor. Nature Commun 2017; 8: 14258. IF 11.329. Q1.

Ongoing Research Projects

• La modulación alostérica del receptor D2 de la dopamina forma parte del mecanismo de acción del litio: de la evidencia molecular a la neuroimagen funcional

- Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria. ISCIII (PI15/00460)

- From 2016 to 2018

- Principal investigator: Selent, Jana

• Deciphering the molecular mechanism of Antipsychotic Drug Action

- Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria. ISCIII (CP12/03139)

- From 2013 to 2017

- Principal investigator: Selent, Jana


Participation in Research Networks

• European GPCR network (GLISTEN).


Group’s Recognitions

• Our group is part of the Grup de Recerca en Biomedicina Computacional, officially recognised as a consolidated research group by the Generalitat de Catalunya (2017-2019)

- Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca (SGR 0519)

- Principal investigator: Sanz Carrera, Ferran



C/ Doctor Aiguader, 88

08003 Barcelona

(+34) 93 316 04 00