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:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... trainer and author Ray Clarke poses a question as a challenge for his ... his book, "Being in the Being" (published by Partridge Singapore), Clarke explores the ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... AccuVein Inc. announces the Infusion ... of Practice, to include vascular visualization as a standard practice. AccuVein ( http://www.accuvein.com ... the market, facilitates adherence to this standard with its easy to use, widely ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios brings ... with customizable backdrops in the Christmas edition of the ProDrop series. Pick and choose ... audiences and invoke the spirit of Christmas using ProDrop's wintry generators. ProDrop Christmas is ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... 11, 2016 , ... Food Labeling for American Heart Month ... best practices in the past couple of decades, and food manufacturers and distributors ... which acts as an exceptional opportunity to revise food labels and stickers to ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... (WMIS), known as the World Molecular Imaging Congress (WMIC), will be held in ... the 2016 meeting is “Imaging Biology…Improving Therapy.” The congress will highlight and emphasize ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... Iowa , Feb. 11, 2016  Proliant Biologicals ... Zealand Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) manufacturing facility.  The facility ... New Zealand , in Feilding. ... was done to functionally duplicate the systems in the ... same vendors used for U.S. installations.  --> ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  Attending college is ... those with type 1 diabetes, the journey can be ... schedules, assignments and campus activities, they also manage the ... top of that, many are living away from home ... (Foundation) Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship with $100,000 ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Brain Cancer patients in the Mid-South now ... Cancer Center . Optune™, a portable device ... replication causing death of cancer cells, is the first ... a significant extension in overall survival rates for newly ... Center is the only medical center in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: