—Knockout Pictures “X-ray structures of general anesthetics binding to an ion channel could aid search for new anesthetics” A close-up of an ion channel from blue-green algae reveals that two common anesthetics bind to it in roughly the same place (Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature09647). This information could help researchers design new anesthetics. General anesthetics keep patients unconscious during surgeries, but it’s not clear how they work at the molecular level. Now, a team led by Pierre-Jean Corringer of France’s Pasteur Institute has determined the X-ray crystal structure of the algal channel, which resembles human acetylcholine and GABA receptors, with the anesthetics propofol and desflurane.
by Carmen Drahl |
January 24, 2011