January 9, 2017 – The Shanghai city government recently announced the 2016 Shanghai Top Ten Science & Technology stories. Included in the list is the structure of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), also known as the “marijuana receptor” published in the prestigious international journal Cell in October, 2016.
A team of scientists led by the iHuman Institute of ShanghaiTech University has determined and analyzed the high-resolution atomic structure of human cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), also known as the “marijuana receptor”. Marijuana has many know therapeutic benefits but can also be abused as a drug. Research into this area is critically needed to help the global society.
The research was led by iHuman Institute Professor Zhi-Jie Liu in collaboration with the iHuman laboratories of Raymond Stevens, Wenqing Shui, and Suwen Zhao. This team of leading faculty have been working very closely together for the past 2 years to determine the 3-D atomic structure and function of human cellular receptors—particularly the large receptor family known as G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). For the CB1 receptor, the iHuman Institute also worked closely with researchers in Boston and Scripps-Florida.
This new findings provide clues to understand why some drugs that interact with this receptor have had unexpectedly complex and sometimes harmful effects. The utility of the crystal structure may provide inspiration for drug design toward refining efficacy and avoiding adverse effects.
The first author of this study, Hua Tian, a graduate student at Prof. Zhi-Jie Liu’s lab, and her colleagues determined the crystal structure of CB1 in complex with AM6538 at 2.8 angstrom resolution. This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (grants 2014CB910400 and 2015CB910104), The National Nature Science Foundation of China (grant 31330019), National Institutes of Health (grants P01DA009158, R37DA023142 and R01AI118985), National Science Foundation, Shanghai Municipal Government, ShanghaiTech University and GPCR Consortium.
“Shanghai Top Ten Science & Technology Stories for 2016” Link: