Professor Arthur Conigrave
G08 - Biochemistry Building
Proteins are essential structural and functional components of our bodies. It is impossible to imagine human life without them. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and our bodies need a regular supply of amino acids to replace proteins that are "worn out". For this reason, the cells of our bodies bristle with sensing mechanisms that detect variations in amino acid levels. Reductions in amino acid levels in the brain, for example, provide a powerful stimulus to appetite. The presence of amino acids in the gut, on the other hand, promotes intestinal digestion and absorption and elevated levels in blood trigger the release of hormones that coordinate growth and the uptake of amino acids by cells for protein synthesis and tissue building. Our laboratory is concerned with the molecules that sense changes in amino acid levels and currently focusses on a subgroup of the G-protein coupled receptor superfamily ("class 3") that includes a number of broad-spectrum amino acid sensors involved in triggering both gut digestive responses as well as hormonal regulatory responses.
Current national competitive grants*
Allosteric modulation and biased signalling at the calcium-sensing receptor
Conigrave A, Christopoulos A
NHMRC Project Grant ($240,000 over 3 years)
* Grants administered through the University of Sydney