Adrenaline stimulates a G-protein-coupled receptor, priming us for action
A Cascade of Response
Feel the Rush
Exploring the Structure
beta2-Adrenergic Receptor (PDB entry 2rh1)
To solve the structure of the adrenergic receptor, researchers had to do some unusual things. Since it is normally buried in a cell membrane, it is difficult to crystallize in purified form. Different approaches were taken for two structures. In one case, shown on the left from PDB 2rh1 , the protein was engineered to insert lysozyme in the middle of the chain. The fused protein chain folds normally, with the lysozyme portion hanging off the bottom of the receptor. In the other case, shown on the right from PDB entry 2r4r , an antibody was discovered that binds to the receptor, and the complex of receptor with antibody was crystallized. In both cases, the extra protein -- lysozyme or antibody -- helped create the many protein-protein contacts needed for a stable crystal. You can click on the image to explore the lysozyme chimera in more detail.
April 2008, David Goodselldoi:10.2210/rcsb_pdb/mom_2008_4