Oliver P. Ernst

Oliver P. Ernst


Address MSB, Room 5259
1 King's College Circle
Toronto, ON M5S 1A8
Lab Ernst Lab
Lab Phone 416-978-3858
Office Phone 416-978-3849
Email oliver.ernst@utoronto.ca

Research Description

Transmembrane Signaling by GPCRs

Cell membranes are natural borders for signal transduction between cells and their environment. Different strategies to enable signals to cross the membrane barrier employ protein classes such as G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), ion channels, and transporters. Our research is directed at understanding transmembrane signaling by GPCRs. We investigate the inner workings of these proteins and their interaction with signaling proteins like G proteins and arrestins. Using different spectroscopic techniques and X-ray crystallography, we aim to get insight into the mechanism, specificity and structural basis of these interactions. A focus of our work is on rhodopsin, the photoreceptor protein in the vertebrate retina. The knowledge how GPCRs work on a molecular level will help to understand their role in health and disease.

Awards & Distinctions

2011 — Canada Excellence Research Chair in Structural Neurobiology
2011 — Anne and Max Tanenbaum Chair in Neuroscience at University of Toronto

Courses Taught

BCH 2024H Structural Neurobiology: Structure and Dynamics of Membrane Proteins
BCH2012H Title to be set
BCH473Y Advanced Research Project in Biochemistry
BCH426H (BCH1426H) Regulation of Signalling Pathways


View all publications on PubMed

Crystal structure of rhodopsin bound to arrestin by femtosecond X-ray laser
Kang et al.
Nature (2015) doi: 10.1038/nature14656  Read

Phospholipid scrambling by rhodopsin
Ernst OP, Menon AK
Photochem Photobiol Sci. (2015) doi: 10.1039/C5PP00195A  Read

Characterizing rhodopsin signaling by EPR spectroscopy: from structure to dynamics
Van Eps N, Caro LN, Morizumi T, Ernst OP
Photochem Photobiol Sci. (2015) doi: 10.1039/C5PP00191A  Read

Rapid and facile recombinant expression of bovine rhodopsin in HEK293S GnTI- cells using a PiggyBac inducible system
Caro LN, Li Z, Balo AR, Van Eps N, Rini JM, Ernst OP
Methods Enzymol. (2015) 556:307-30.  Read

The photocycle and ultrafast vibrational dynamics of bacteriorhodopsin in lipid nanodiscs
Johnson PJ, Halpin A, Morizumi T, Brown LS, Prokhorenko VI, Ernst OP, Dwayne Miller RJ
Phys Chem Chem Phys (2014) 16:21310-20.  Read

Constitutive phospholipid scramblase activity of a G protein-coupled receptor
Goren MA, Morizumi T, Menon I, Joseph JS, Dittman JS, Cherezov V, Stevens RC, Ernst OP, Menon AK
Nat Commun (2014) 5:5115.  Read

Coupling of G proteins to reconstituted monomers and tetramers of the M2 muscarinic receptor
Redka DS, Morizumi T, Elmslie G, Paranthaman P, Shivnaraine RV, Ellis J, Ernst OP, Wells JW
J Biol Chem (2014) 289:24347-65.  Read

Microbial and animal rhodopsins: structures, functions, and molecular mechanisms
Ernst OP, Lodowski DT, Elstner M, Hegemann P, Brown LS, Kandori H.
Chem Rev (2014) 114:126-63.  Read

Opsin, a structural model for olfactory receptors?
Park JH, Morizumi T, Li Y, Hong JE, Pai EF, Hofmann KP, Choe HW, Ernst OP
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl (2013) 52:11021-4.  Read

Crystal structure of pre-activated arrestin p44
Kim YJ, Hofmann KP, Ernst OP, Scheerer P, Choe HW, Sommer ME
Nature (2013) 497:142-6.  Read