Small changes — but essential! How peptides are recognized in receptors

The human body consists of trillions of cells that constantly communicate with each other. A central role in this communication process is played by receptor proteins on the cell surface. Since they often serve as drug targets, they have been the subject of intensive research. Often there are whole families of receptors. The signal messengers as well as the receptors are very similar to each other, so it is not clear how the signals are distinguished from each other at the molecular level. Now, scientists have succeeded in determining high-resolution structures for three related signalling complexes that occur naturally in the body for the neuropeptide Y (NPY) receptor family, thus shedding light on the ‘small but essential differences’.
The human body consists of trillions of cells that constantly communicate with each other. A central role in this communication process is played by receptor proteins on the cell surface. Since they often serve as drug targets, they have been the subject of intensive research. Often there are whole families of receptors. The signal messengers as well as the receptors are very similar to each other, so it is not clear how the signals are distinguished from each other at the molecular level. Now, scientists have succeeded in determining high-resolution structures for three related signalling complexes that occur naturally in the body for the neuropeptide Y (NPY) receptor family, thus shedding light on the ‘small but essential differences’.

Published on : May 8, 2022 at 8:21 PM

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