Modulating appetite through allosteric modulation of G-protein Coupled Receptors

Lesley Howell (primary)
School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Peter McCormick (secondary)
School of Medicine and Dentistry
William Harvey Research Institute


Obesity is a major epidemic with enormous health and financial implications; it is a risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. The neuronal circuitry of appetite involves a complex network of neurons consisting of neurotransmitters, hormones and their receptors. Activation of one of these receptors, 5-HT2c, helps modulate energy balance in the brain and reduce motivation for food seeking. There are >15 members of the 5-HT receptor family, so targeting one of these receptors is challenging as the orthosteric sites are similar. We are proposing to identify an allosteric site on 5-HT2c that could be uniquely targeted.


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Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology
Area of Biology
Chemical BiologyNeurobiology
Techniques & Approaches
BiochemistryChemistrySimulation / Modelling