Role of GRK5 in development of opioid dependence

Project start
Institution: Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology, Jena University Hospital
Applicant: Dr. Andrea Kliewer
EKFS funding line: first application
GRK5 plays a crucial role in the development of dependence and addiction after Morphine treatment.

Clinical use of morphine, a highly-effective drug for the treatment of severe pain, is limited by rapid development of dependence and addiction after repeated or extended administration. Modifications of the μ-opioid receptor, like phosphorylation, play a crucial role in these processes. Our project investigates for the first time the main responsible enzyme GRK5 and evaluates the importance of its kinase/phosphorylation activity as compared with adapter and scaffold function. Results from this study are therefore highly relevant for clinical pain therapy, but may also have societal impact on our understanding of drug addiction and its treatment.

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