Molecule of the Month: Serotonin Receptor
Serotonin receptors control mood, emotion, and many other behaviors, and are targets for many important drugs
Exploring the Structure
Serotonin Receptors (PDB entries 4iar and 4ib4)
Researchers are trying to make serotonin-mimicking drugs more specific by taking advantage of the portions of serotonin receptors that are different. Two structures of different serotonin receptors with ergotamine, in PDB entries 4iar and 4ib4 , show one possible approach. Ergotamine is much larger than serotonin, with a portion similar to serotonin (shown in green) that binds deep in the receptor pocket, and the rest binding higher in the pocket. Most of the differences between receptors are found in these more distant portions of the binding site, and may provide new opportunities for designing specific drugs. To look at these structures in more detail, click on the image for an interactive Jmol.
Topics for Further Discussion
- You can see the interaction between a G protein-coupled receptor and a G protein in PDB entry 3sn6.
- Structures for many other G protein-coupled receptors have been solved, including opsin and adrenergic receptors. You can compare their similar structures, composed of seven alpha helices, using the Compare Structures tool.
- The structures of the serotonin receptor, and several other GPCRs, were determined using an engineered protein that has another small protein inserted into the protein chain. Why would this be necessary? What protein was used in the serotonin receptor structures?
August 2013, David Goodselldoi:10.2210/rcsb_pdb/mom_2013_8