The receptor GPR88 is highly expressed in brain areas relevant for Parkinson's disease. GPR88 is an orphan receptor, i.e., a receptor with no known ligands. The neurobiological role and signalling pathways of GPR88 are not known. Based on the receptor localization, it is hypothesized that modulation of GPR88 could be relevant for PD.
The working hypothesis of the project is that compounds acting on GPR88 could be relevant for Symptoms & Side Effects treatment of Parkinson's disease. The overall scope of the project is to identify compounds acting on GPR88 using cell-based screening of compound libraries and validation in a primary cell culture.
The goal of this one-year project was to develop a process for identifying small molecules modulating the activity of GPR88, and to develop a set of in vitro experiments to study GPR88 function. Although the group managed to identify expression of GPR88 mRNA in vitro, several attempts to measure function were not succesful. After evaluating a set of compounds from in house libraries, the group was unable to identify compounds affecting the activity of GPR88.