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Title: Long-Sought Discovery Fills in Missing Details of Cell ‘Switchboard’

A biomedical breakthrough, published today in the journal Nature, reveals never-before-seen details of the human body’s cellular switchboard that regulates sensory and hormonal responses. The work is based on an X-ray laser experiment at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The much-anticipated discovery, a decade in the making, could have broad impacts on development of more highly targeted and effective drugs with fewer side effects to treat conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and even some types of cancer. The ultrabright X-rays of SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) enabled the research team to complete the first 3-D atomic-scale map of a key signaling protein called arrestin while it was docked with a cell receptor involved in vision. The receptor is a well-studied example from a family of hundreds of G protein-coupled receptors, or GPCRs, which are targeted by about 40 percent of drugs on the market. Its structure while coupled with arrestin provides new insight into the on/off signaling pathways of GPCRs.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1248477
Resource Type:
Other
Research Org:
SLAC (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC), Menlo Park, CA (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES CELLULAR SWITCHBOARD; RHODOPSIN; ARRESTIN; G PROTEINS; LYSOZYME