Benita Sjogren

Picture of Benita Sjogren
Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Ph.D., Karolinska Institute, 2008, Pharmacology
M.S., Stockholm University, 2002, Molecular Biology
Phone: (949) 824-7480
University of California, Irvine
101 Theory, Suite 100
Mail Code: 3958
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Molecular Pharmacology, Signal transduction, drug discovery
2008-2013 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Pharmacology, University of Michigan
2013-2017 Research Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Michigan State University
2017-2023 Assistant Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Purdue University
Research Abstract
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent the largest family of receptors and are important drug targets with 40-60% of currently FDA approved drugs targeting the receptors themselves or downstream mechanisms. One important regulatory mechanism of G protein signaling is mediated through a family of GTPase accelerating proteins, Regulator of G protein Signaling (RGS) proteins. RGS proteins modulate GPCR signaling by binding to and accelerating GTP hydrolysis on active Ga subunits of heterotrimeric G proteins. This results in attenuation of duration and amplitude of GPCR signaling. The majority of the more than 20 RGS proteins identified to date also possess additional functions not related to their canonical effect on G proteins. In the past 25 years, RGS proteins have emerged as novel drug targets in numerous disease states, such as hypertension, cancer and Parkinson disease among others. RGS proteins are tightly regulated through transcriptional, epigenetic and posttranslational mechanisms, such as degradation through the ubiquitin-proteasomal pathway. Furthermore, expression of RGS proteins is often altered during pathogenesis, causing dysregulation in GPCR signaling, that can cause or worsen the disease. Thus, the work in our lab is focused on two central questions; 1) To understand the mechanisms by which levels and function of RGS proteins are regulated and; 2) How the knowledge of these mechanisms can be applied in drug discovery.
Zhang Q, Sjögren B*. (2023) Palmitoylation of RGS20 affects Gao-mediated signaling independent of its GAP activity. Cell. Signal. 107:110682-110691.
Zhang Q, Haak AJ, Sjögren B*. (2022) RGS2 inhibits Gaq-dependent uveal melanoma cell growth. J. Biol. Chem. 298(6):101955-101965.
Diaz S, Wang K, Sjögren B, Liu X. (2022) Roles of Cullin-RING ubiquitin ligases in cardiovascular diseases. Biomolecules 12(3), 416.
McNabb HM, Gonzalez S, Muli CM, Sjögren B*. (2020) N-terminal targeting of Regulator of G Protein Signaling 2 for F-box only protein 44-mediated proteasomal degradation. Mol. Pharmacol. 98(6):677-685.
McNabb HM, Zhang Q, Sjögren B*. (2020) Emerging roles for RGS2 in (patho)physiology. Mol Pharmacol. 98(6):751-760.
Sjögren B* (2017) The evolution of RGS proteins as drug targets – 20 years in the making. IUPHAR Review 21. Br. J. Pharmacol. 174(6):427-437.
Phan HT, Sjögren B, Neubig RR. (2017) Human Missense Mutations in Regulator of G Protein Signaling 2 Affect the Protein Function Through Multiple Mechanisms. Mol. Pharmacol. 92(4):451-458.
Dong H, Zhang Y, Wang J, Kim DS, Wu H, Sjögren B, Gao W, Luttrell L, Wang H. (2017) Regulator of G protein signaling 2 is a key regulator of pancreatic ß-cell mass and function. Cell Death and Disease 8:e2821.
Feng H, Sjögren B, Karaj B, Shaw V, Gezer A, Neubig RR. (2017) Movement disorder in GNAO1 encephalopathy associated with gain-of-function mutations. Neurology. 89(8):762-770.
Sjögren B*, Parra S, Atkins KB, Karaj B, Neubig RR. (2016) Digoxin-Mediated Upregulation of RGS2 Protein Protects against Cardiac Injury. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 357:1–9.
Sjögren B*, Swaney S, Neubig RR. (2015) FBXO44-mediated degradation of RGS2 protein uniquely depends on a Cullin 4B/DDB1 complex. PloS One. 10(5): e0123581.
Raveh A, Schultz PJ, Aschermann L, Carpenter C, Tamayo-Castillo G, Cao S, Clardy J, Neubig RR, Sherman DH, Sjögren B.* (2014) Identification of PKC activation as a novel mechanism for RGS2 protein upregulation through phenotypic screening of natural product extracts. Mol. Pharmacol. 86(4):406-16.
Storaska AJ, Mei JP, Wu M, Li M, Wade SM, Blazer LL, Sjögren B, Hopkins CR, Lindsley CW, Lin Z, Babcock JJ, McManus OB, Neubig RR. (2013) Reversible inhibitors of regulators of G-protein signaling identified in a high-throughput cell-based calcium signaling assay. Cell Signal. 25(12):2848-55.
Sjögren B, Parra S, Heath LJ, Atkins KB, Xie Z-J, Neubig RR. (2012) Cardiotonic steroids stabilize RGS2 protein levels. Mol Pharmacol 82(3):500-9.
Sjögren B, Neubig RR. (2010) Thinking outside of the "RGS box": new approaches to therapeutic targeting of regulators of G protein signaling. Mol Pharmacol. 78(4):550-7.
2022-2026 National Institutes of Health; 01GM143493 “Posttranslational regulation of Regulator of G protein Signaling 2 (RGS2)”
Professional Societies
American Heart Association
Other Experience
Research Engineer
Biovitrum AB, Stockholm, Sweden 2002—2004
Last updated