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Hungry or full: It comes down to the atomic details

A protein—measuring just a few nanometers in size—acts as a molecular switch with a crucial role in determining whether we feel hungry or full. By determining of the protein’s 3-D structure, researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin were able to visualize the molecular structures of the hormones with which this protein—melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) – interacts. Writing in Cell Research, the researchers report that this enabled them to describe the molecular mechanisms involved in the receptor’s activation and inhibition. These new findings could stimulate the development of optimized drugs to treat patients with severe overweight and obesity patients. Read More

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