Navigation Links
Some like it hot! Structure of receptor for hot chili pepper and pain revealed
Date:5/19/2008

You can now not only feel the spicy kick of a jalapeno pepper, you can also see it in full 3D, thanks to researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Using sophisticated equipment, the research team led by Dr Theodore G. Wensel, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at BCM, generated the first three dimensional view of the protein that allows you to sense the heat of a hot pepper. The report appears in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This protein, known as TRPV1, not only senses spicy foods, but also makes it possible to feel real heat and the pain and inflammation related to other medical conditions, said Wensel, senior author on the study. This method of viewing the protein now gives us the chance to clearly see the functional relationship between outside stimuli and the nerve cell.

The outside stimulus used in this study was the heat of a chili pepper. It has been known for years that the burning sensation results from the action of a chemical known as capsaicin on TRPV1 found on the nerve cell membrane. TRPV1 is an ion channel, a tiny pore on the cell membrane that allows chemicals such as calcium to flux in and out.

Any time you feel a burn or pain sensation, it is mediated by a TRPV1 channel. Different levels of heat are mediated by different TRP channels, said Dr. Vera Moiseenkova-Bell, a postdoctoral associate in Wensels laboratory at BCM and first author of the study. They are all related but each is regulated in a different manner.

Wensel said the three-dimensional image of TRPV1 revealed surprising information about its structure. It is made up of a pore domain embedded in the cell membrane, and a hanging basket of regulatory domains that extend into the interior of the cell.

Its an unusual thing. There is a whole hollow basket area but we dont know whats thats for, Wensel said. Now the search is on to understand how the basket area regulates the channel.

Isolating TRPV1 gives researchers an idea of how other channels are structured as well.

Visualization of TRPV1 gives us insight on other TRP channels since they are structurally similar, said Moiseenkova-Bell. Pharmaceutical companies target these TRP channels to make sure the drug binds properly. With this first structure we can start to build models of binding sites and hopefully in the future design more effective pharmaceuticals for a wide range of medical conditions.

Studying these channels is nothing new. In the past, scientists could measure the activity in the cells but it was unclear what each channel was responding to. Determining which proteins interacted with TRPV1, however, required Wensels lab to create a purified model.

The protein had to be removed from cells, purified, and reconstituted in a synthetic membrane so researchers could control channel activity.

Since calcium is involved in cell signaling, following the calcium movement confirmed the protein is active, said Wensel. We are the first group to purify a TRPV1 channel and control what goes in and out when the channel opens.


'/>"/>

Contact: Graciela Gutierrez
ggutierr@bcm.edu
713-798-4710
Baylor College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. DATATRAK Announces Restructured Senior Management Team
2. Making the Outdoors Safer for Communities: the American Academy of Dermatology Announces 2008 AAD Shade Structure Program Grant Recipients
3. Complementary Excerpt Available from Best Practices: Resources, Structure and Processes to Optimize Pharmaceutical Sales Communications
4. ApothecaryRx Provides Exit Strategy for Boomer Pharmacy Businesses; Sustains Service and Communication Structure of Community Pharmacies to Improve Drug Compliance, Reduce Drug Errors
5. VaxGen Restructures Following Termination of Proposed Merger
6. Fetal Exposure to Substance Abuse Changes Brain Structure
7. International Health Leaders Address Globalization and Academic Health Center Infrastructure
8. Structure for Success: Leadership Development Programs at Pharmaceutical Companies
9. LifeMasters Strengthens Capital Structure with $15 Million in Funding from Existing Investors
10. Measurement technique probes surface structure of gold nanocrystals
11. University of Pittsburgh researchers crack code of 3-D structure in key metabolic protein
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... Groth Family Insurance, a Washington-based ... is initiating a charity drive to support the family of Cindy Hendrickson, a ... , On October 29th of this year, Cindy Hendrickson swerved to avoid ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Justin Veatch Fund announced Thursday that ... film Whispering Spirits and its discussion guide for use by all of ... in the war against teen drug abuse. NCADD is the oldest anti-addiction advocacy ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2016 , ... ... Founders Ball at The Pierre Hotel in New York, NY, on December 3rd, ... benefactors, dignitaries and physicians attended the annual event, which raised over $1 million ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Charleston, WV (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... that it will become Quality Insights beginning January 1, 2017. The name ... emphasizes its commitment to measuring and improving health care quality. , “We are ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... pleased to announce that “Natural Language Processing–Enabled and Conventional Data Capture Methods for ... JMIR Medical Informatics . , Results of the comparative usability study demonstrate ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... NORWALK, Connecticut , 8 de dezembro de 2016  A Mederi ... a terapia Stretta, um tratamento não cirúrgico para a doença do refluxo gastroesofágico ... Reading ... Live Stretta procedure performed ... Director of Endoscopy at Wuhan Union Hospital ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... HARRISBURG, Pa. , Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... and Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs ... anxiety and insomnia medications, known as benzodiazepines, developed ... "Benzodiazepines are medications that are frequently ... "However, when they are used with opioid pain ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... True Health Diagnostics today announced a ... and management expertise to hospital systems throughout ... doctors and patients to benefit from state-of-the-art biomarker ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161208/447162LOGO ... to contain costs, have struggled to keep up ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: