Emily Xu

Emily Xu

PI: Jens Meiler, PhD , Department of Chemistry

Modeling the Y5 Receptor and its Interactions with Neuropeptide Y

The Neuropeptide Y system falls in the system of Class A Rhodopsin-like G-Protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) that activate cell-signaling by binding neuropeptide Y (NPY) and other related peptides. The NPY system is involved with a variety of physiological processes, such as food intake, appetite regulation, circadian rhythm, and anxiety. In particular, the binding of NPY to the Y5 receptor drives feeding control and is a sought after target for obesity and related diseases. The goal of this project is to study the interaction of NPY with Y5 using Rosetta modeling. This process requires literature review of previous site-directed mutagenesis experiments as well as molecular modeling. Modeling of this complex driven by mutagenesis work will produce reliable models which can serve as templates for the development of rationally designed ligands of the Y5 receptor. In better understanding the structure and binding patterns of Y5, we can better understand the pathways it activates and their corresponding biological functions. Additionally, this understanding will help to drive future research on related diseases and help with drug design and disease prevention.