Hungry or full: It comes down to the atomic details

Insight into the molecular structure of an appetite-regulating cell receptor

A protein – measuring just a few nanometers in size – acts as a molecular switch with a crucial role in determining whether we feel hungry or full. By determining of the protein’s 3D structure, researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin were able to visualize the molecular structures of the hormones with which this protein – melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) – interacts. Writing in Cell Research*, the researchers report that this enabled them to describe the molecular mechanisms involved in the receptor’s activation and inhibition.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft