Araç Laboratory at UChicago

Our laboratory uses molecular approaches to understand neurobiology.

We use a structural biology approach combined with protein engineering, functional methods and in vitro assays to provide insights into the details of adhesion GPCR (aGPCR) activation, signal transduction, and neurobiology.

All aGPCRs contain an extracellular GAIN domain.

The interaction between the GAIN domain and the seven-pass transmembrane domain, both canonical features of aGPCRs, are crucial to our understanding of this receptor family.

aGPCRs are regulated by alternative splicing.

Structural biology is crucial for understanding how alternative splicing affects aGPCR function.

Characterization of aGPCR-ligand interactions.

Cryo-EM is a modern structural biology tool that our lab uses to determine aGPCR structures and to characterize their interactions with ligands.

Synthetic antibodies to modulate aGPCR function.

Our laboratory leads efforts to discover and characterize antibody-like molecules which can be used as tools to modulate aGPCR function.

Our lab studies the mechanism by which adhesion-class G protein-coupled receptors (aGPCRs) function in the nervous system. One of our goals is to decipher the role of the extracellular region in the function of aGPCRs using a combination of biophysical, biochemical and cell biological approaches.
  • We use the tools of protein biochemistry and structural biology to aid us in understanding aGPCR function.
  • The insights we GAIN from biochemistry and biophysics direct our work on the physiology and cell biology of aGPCRs.
  • We collaborate with neuroscientists and geneticists to understand aGPCR physiology at the level of the organism.
We are a biochemistry lab deeply entrenched in the field of neuroscience. Our interests extend to synapse formation and validation, cell adhesion, and the biochemistry of neurodevelopmental diseases.