Navigation Links
VAI Finding Could Lead to New Drugs for Anxiety, Depression

Researchers determine molecular structure of promising drug target using

new method

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers in the Laboratory of Structural Sciences at Van Andel Institute (VAI) have determined how the hormone corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF) precisely binds to its receptor. This detailed structural information can help drug developers design new drugs for anxiety, depression, and related disorders.

"There are a few drugs in development to treat anxiety, depression, and other conditions by targeting the cellular receptor that CRF binds to, but there are no drugs currently on the market," said VAI Distinguished Scientific Investigator Eric Xu, Ph.D., who published his laboratory's findings in The Journal of Biological Chemistry. "There is a lot of interest in this receptor as a drug target, and we are the first to determine the structural details necessary to develop an ideal drug."

CRF is a hormone and neurotransmitter secreted by the hypothalamus area of the brain and is involved in stress response. CRF has been associated with anxiety, depression, and related disorders. The hormone's receptor is a protein on the surface of a cell or in its interior that binds to the hormone, which allows the hormone to activate changes in the cell.

Using a technique known as X-ray crystallography, VAI researchers determined the molecular structure of the part of the CRF receptor that sticks outside of the cell and binds to CRF and other proteins in the same family. This detailed structural information can help drug developers engineer a drug that more perfectly fits to the receptor, making the drug more potent. Researchers determined the structure of the receptor in three different scenarios -- one with nothing bound to the receptor, one with CRF bound to the receptor, and one that shows how the receptor binds to other proteins in the same family.

To determine the structure, researchers had to crystallize the hormone and receptor in these different scenarios, a process similar to letting salty water evaporate to form salt crystals but much more difficult. The lab used a unique method to do this that they recently developed to determine the structure of the parathyroid hormone (PTH) receptor, used to treat osteoporosis. PTH and CRF receptors are in the same family of proteins.

"There are many therapeutically important receptors in the same family as CRF and PTH," said Xu, "and there is a good chance we may be able to apply our crystallizing method to even more members of this family going forward."

Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996, Van Andel Institute is an independent research organization dedicated to preserving, enhancing and expanding the frontiers of medical science, and to achieving excellence in education by probing fundamental issues of education and the learning process.

SOURCE Van Andel Institute
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Sports Legacy Institute Announces Findings of Forensic Examinations on Wrestler Chris Benoits Brain
2. Mayo Clinic Physicians Report Findings from Research on Sleep Disorders
3. New Anti-TNF Golimumab Significantly Reduced Signs and Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis According to Phase 3 Study Findings
4. Grantees of the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Prevention Research Initiative Gather in Houston to Report Interim Findings
5. Pharmacopeia Announces Additional Positive Findings from Phase 1 Multiple Ascending Dose Study of PS433540 (DARA)
6. Recent Findings from the Framingham Offspring Study Show Low Numbers of LDL Particles (LDL-P) by NMR are Associated With Fewer Heart Disease Related Events than Equivalently Low Levels of LDL Cholesterol (LDL-C).(1)
7. Joslin Study Identifies Key Factor That Links Metabolic Syndrome; Finding May Help Millions at High Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
8. Industry Executives Finding Value in Shift of Scientific Publications
9. Mayo Clinic Proceedings Contributors Highlight Research Findings About Cardiovascular Benefits Associated With Omega-3 Fatty Acids
10. RSV Researcher Makes Gains in Finding Treatments
11. Halozyme Therapeutics Presents Findings on Combinations of rHuPH20 Enzyme With Bisphosphonates at the American Association for Cancer Research Conference
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... September 2015 2014RestatedChange%Turnover 545,575 , 518,852 , 5.2 Cord ... , 9.8 Hospital Management Service Income , ... Medical Insurance Administration Service Income , 2,780 , ... , 89,645 , 94,580 , ... , 2,917 , (3.3) Gross Profit 395,857 ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... November 30, 2015 --> ... "Dental Lasers Market by Product (Soft Tissue, All Tissue, Dental ... (Hospitals, Clinics), and Geography - Global Forecast to 2020", published ... 2020, at a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period ... data Tables and 62 Figures spread through 167 P ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015  PTS Diagnostics, the U.S.-based manufacturer of point-of-care ... A1CNow ® systems, and PTS Detect™ cotinine systems, ... that will propel the company into the mHealth market. ... Europe . The technology is a system that ... smartphones and tablets, and uses test strip technology already ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... During the National Family Caregivers Month, the ... webinars on topics of ‘Medical and Palliative Care Decisions,’ and ‘Self-Care for Caregivers.’ ... , With a loved one's diagnosis of mesothelioma, the closest family member is ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... According to research by the ... dental technicians to be certified or obtain continuing education. To increase awareness of ... Your Mouth?” campaign to inform dentists that the technicians they trust could lack ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... An extensive ... is specialized and only includes chiropractic clinics in the US. , The team ... alternative health practitioner when back pain sets in. When people are experiencing back ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The ... this summer, ushering in a new era of publicly accessible automated technology. Now, ... will continue to offer guests an up-close look at the shuttle at MOSI’s ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Flint, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 ... ... a safe and fun atmosphere for Halloween festivities, the Word of Life Christian ... classic children’s board game, and featuring a giant 1.25 ton pile of candy ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):