Molecule of the Month: Leptin
Problems with the appetite-controlling hormone leptin can lead to obesity
Appetite and Obesity
Exploring the Structure
Leptin receptor binding (PDB entry 3v6o)
Leptin is recognized by receptors on the surface of the hunger-controlling neurons, as well as by other cells throughout the body. It is a large protein with many domains, and is thought to bind one-to-one with leptin, then dimerize to transmit the signal into the cell. The structure shown here, from PDB entry 3v6o , includes the leptin-binding portion of the receptor (blue) along with an antibody (red). The antibody has been shown to block the binding of leptin, and the authors used this information and other biochemical results to predict the location of leptin binding (green). To take a closer look at this structure, click on the image for an interactive Jmol.
Topics for Further Discussion
- the leptin structure in PDB entry 1ax8 has a mutation at position 100, changing a tryptophan on the surface to glutamate. Why do you think this was necessary?
- structures of many small neuropeptides are available in the PDB. You can use the "Sequence Similarity" tab for the entry 1ron to find neuropeptides similar to neuropeptide Y.
May 2012, David Goodselldoi:10.2210/rcsb_pdb/mom_2012_5