A book chapter on opioid receptors

Opioid receptors are important in pain regulation and are key targets for drugs used to relief pain. However, opioid drugs have strong side-effects, urging for a better understanding of their molecular and cellular mechanism of action.

In their recent book chapter, published in Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, researchers from the group of Prof. Miriam Stoeber discuss the use of novel biosensors to directly assess drug-induced opioid receptor activation in living cells. They describe in detail the value and limitations of the novel biosensors to study activation of the kappa opioid receptor, a promising target for pain and itch treatment.



The biosensor fused to a fluorescent protein (in red) selectively binds to the activate state of the kappa opioid receptor (KOR, in light blue). Measuring biosensor fluorescence at the plasma membrane (by TIRF) allows to directly detect opioid receptor activation in response to various receptor ligands. © from Figure 2 in Oberhauser & Stoeber 2021. Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology



14 Jan 2021