Protein Modeling/Dopamine and Serotonin

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The 2016 topic for Protein Modeling deals with proteins involved in the biosynthesis and subsequent signaling of Dopamine and Serotonin.


Sepiapterin Reductase

The 2016 Pre-Build model represented amino acids 93-261 of chain A of the Sepiapterin Reductase protein, based on the PDB file 1SEP.pdb.


DOPA Decarboxylase

Dopamine Transporter

Dopamine Receptor


The structure of dopamine

Dopamine is an amine synthesized in the brain and kidneys which functions as a neurotransmitter, sending signals to nerve cells. The brain has several dopamine pathways which release dopamine to control motivation, motor control, and executive function. It also plays a role in processing pain in multiple areas of the body, as well as inducing nausea or vomiting. Outside of the central nervous system, dopamine is found in blood vessels and the kidneys as a chemical messenger.

Several diseases of the nervous system are associated with dopamine including Parkinson's, which is a degenerative condition that causes motor impairment. There is also some evidence that schizophrenia and ADHD are associated with dopamine due to the fact that many symptoms of these disorders are associated with the facilities that dopamine controls. Dopamine is also commonly associated with addiction due to the fact that many addictive drugs increase dopamine levels in the brain.


The structure of serotonin

Serotonin is a monoamine neurotransmitter stored in blood platelets that is typically associated with happiness or good feelings. A majority of the body's serotonin regulates intestinal movements, and is not actually found in the brain. The rest of it is synthesized in the brain where it regulates mood, appetite and sleep. It is also associated with some cognitive functions. Serotonin is also found in some insect venoms and plant spines, where it causes pain.

Outside of the nervous system, serotonin regulates bone mass and organ development. It also signals resource availability, which implies that serotonin can influence blood pressure, longevity and blood lipids. Serotonin also aids in stopping bleeding and a growth factor to aid healing. Serotonin is also targeted by several medications due to the fact that serotonin influences a variety of different functions.