080210xf's Blog

L'X fragile sera vaincu | Fragile X will be conquered

Inner receptors may be important for fragile X treatment

Jessica Wright, Sfari.org |

Hidden targets: Drugs being developed for fragile X syndrome may be neglecting a large group of receptors that function from inside the cell.

Contrary to popular belief, receptors both outside and inside a cell regulate a cellular pathway that is overactive in people with fragile X syndrome, researchers reported Tuesday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego. The finding could have significant implications for drug treatments of fragile X syndrome.

Inactivation of the fragile X mental retardation protein, or FMRP, leads to fragile X syndrome. Loss of FMRP leads to over-activation of a pathway controlled by a type of protein receptor called mGluR5.

mGluR5 receptors sit across membranes. They relay information by binding to a signaling molecule on one side of the membrane, leading to changes on the other. About 60 to 70 percent of mGluR5 receptors are on membranes inside cells, such as the nuclear membrane, but it’s unclear whether these receptors also affect the same pathways as the cell-surface receptors do.

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