Ali Vural

Ali Vural

Research Assistant Professor

Ali Vural

Office Address

Department of Pharmacology
Integrative Biosciences Center
6135 Woodward Avenue, #2412
Detroit, MI 48202

Office Phone

(313) 577-1621


The cells are armored with a panoply of signaling systems to process external stimuli. One such system incorporates a seven-membrane-span receptor at the cell surface that is activated by a stimulus, and transfers this signal to membrane-associated heterotrimeric G proteins, initiating signal propagation to the cell interior. Therefore, heterotrimeric G proteins act as molecular switches integral to an array of different physiological responses. Receptor independent Activators of G protein signaling (AGS) belong to a broad panel of accessory proteins, which regulate the strength/efficiency/specificity of signal transfer from receptor to G protein or G protein to effector, help position these three core signaling components in the right microenvironment, and/or contribute to the formation of a functional signal transduction complex. Such entities provide attractive mechanisms for tissues to respond and adapt to physiological and pathological challenges and present potential therapeutic targets.

A long-term objective of my research program centers on a deeper understanding of physiological functions at the cellular, tissue and organ levels through uncovering the biochemistry and signal integration of the accessory signaling proteins. My research in particular focuses on Activator of G protein Signaling 3 (AGS3), which is a potential therapeutic target in terms of exhibiting the greatest functional diversity among AGS proteins and is implicated in a wide range of system and cellular functions. Some of the prominent ones include the elimination of craving behavior upon reinstatement of substances of abuse (e.g., cocaine, heroine, ethanol); resistance to high-fat diet-induced obesity, altered blood pressure, resistance to antibiotic-resistant bacteria infection and regulation of cyst progression in polycycstic kidney disease. My current investigation focuses on the mechanism – function axis of AGS3 protein with other defined biomolecular condensates.


Ph.D. (2011; Molecular Cellular Biology and Pathobiology): Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
B.S. (2005; Molecular Biology and Genetics): Middle East Technical University, Ankara, TURKEY


  • Vural, A.*, Lanier SM. Intersection of two key signal integrators in the cell: activator of G protein Signaling 3 and Dishevelled-2. Journal of Cell Science. 2020 Sep; 133(17). Cover Page & *Co-corresponding author. First person:
  • Vural, A.*, Nabar NR.*, Hwang IY., Sohn S., Park C., Karlson MCI., Blumer JB., Kehrl JH. Gαi2 Signaling Regulates Inflammasome Priming and Cytokine Production by Biasing Macrophage Phenotype Determination. Journal of Immunology, 2019 Mar;202(5):1510-1520 *Co-first author
  • Vural A.*, Fadillioglu E., Kelesoglu F., Ma D., Lanier SM. Role of G-proteins and S/T phosphorylation sites in the transition of Activator of G-Protein Signaling 3 to cell puncta. Journal of Cell Science. 2018 Dec; 131(23) *Co-corresponding author

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Faculty Status

Cell Biology

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