ISCID News Editor
Member # 1417
posted 23. November 2005 23:57
Researchers uncover new details about how signals are transmitted in the brain
Source: Caltech Media Relations
PASADENA, Calif.--An international team of scientists has announced a new breakthrough in understanding the molecular details of how signals^ move around in the human brain. The work is basic research, but could help pharmacologists design new drugs for treating a host of neurological disorders, as well as drugs for reducing alcohol and nicotine craving.
Reporting in the November 11 issue of the journal Nature, researchers from the California Institute of Technology and the University of Cambridge explain how they have learned to force a protein known as the 5-HT3 receptor to change its function by chemically changing the shape of one of the amino acids^ from which it is built. Using a technique developed at Caltech known as "unnatural amino mutagenesis," the researchers altered a proline amino acid in the 5-HT3 protein in order to modulate the receptor's ion channel. This gave the researchers control of the "switch" that is involved in neuron signaling.
[Emphases added by ISCID News Editor]
[Link-underlined terms with ^ indicate linked entry in ISCID Encyclopedia of Science and Philosophy as added by ISCID News Editor]
Read the full press release at Caltech
[ 24. November 2005, 00:40: Message edited by: ISCID News Editor ]