Researchers have characterized a complex, little-understood receptor type that, when activated, shuts off hunger. The findings may open up opportunities to fight obesity at the cellular level. Jens Meiler, of Vanderbilt University, says pharmaceutical companies have long attempted to develop a small-molecule drug that can do just that. But until now, nobody knew exactly what… Read more

TRPM3 belongs to a family of channel proteins that allow sodium and calcium ions to enter cells by forming pores in cell membranes. TRPM3 is found on the cell membranes of nerve cells; when ions flow into the nerves through the TRPM3 pores it triggers an electrical impulse. TRPM3 is responsible for helping us to… Read more

Contrary to the words immortalized by the piano singer in “Casablanca,” a sigh is far more than a sigh. Heaving an unconscious sigh is a life-sustaining reflex that helps preserve lung function. A new study by researchers from UCLA and Stanford has pinpointed two tiny clusters of neurons in the brain stem that are responsible… Read more

Atomic level x-ray crystallography images were used by NIH scientists to show how the neuropeptide hormone neurotensin might activate its receptors. The description is the first of its kind for a neuropeptide-binding G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), a class of receptors involved in a wide range of disorders, and the target of many drugs. Binding to… Read more