This molecule is vital to our survival. Now we Know what it looks like.

4 March 2022


Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology

A worldwide collaboration of scientists are working together to decipher the structure of a molecule essential for life.

All movement, sleep, thoughts and feelings depend on tiny electrical currents in the body. A large molecule in our nerve cells, made up of four proteins, controls these currents. A mutation that interferes with any of the proteins in this molecule can severely alter the ability to move, sleep or even cause life-threatening diseases.

In fact, there are three syndromes associated with the malfunction of these proteins, but none of them can be treated.
The discoveries made in collaboration with researchers from the University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Genentech Inc, ETH Zurich and Columbia University allow a better understanding of the function and structure of the entire molecule, opening the door to possible treatments for patients.

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