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

egulates 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.


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

Page: 1 2

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