Five papers have been published this year by collaborations headed by the Scripps Research Institute laboratory of Professor Raymond Stevens. The studies shed light on a large and medically important family of proteins called G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).
GPCRs sit in the cell membrane and sense various molecules outside the cell, including odors, hormones, neurotransmitters, and light. After binding these molecules, GPCRs trigger a specific response inside the cell. Many drugs, including allergy and heart medication and drugs for Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, target these proteins.
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