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Studying a key brain receptor at atomic resolution- research enabled by our Sherlock and XStream clusters

Molecular model of a part of a NMDA receptor showing glycan groups in red

Apr 7 2017

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Research Highlights, Success Stories

Key brain receptor NMDA investigated at atomic resolution using computer simulations.

Sherlock and XStream user Anton Sinitskiy recently published some exciting research that simulates the effects of glycan groups on the NMDA receptor in the journal Scientific Reports.  NMDA is an important  receptor in the brain playing a major role in many neurochemical pathways.  NMDA receptors are involved in numerous neurological disorders, including schizophrenia, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  The research showed that glycan groups can control the activation of this receptor.

From Dr. Sinitskiy's post-

"... it’s really amazing how many details in a studied protein our computer simulations can reveal. Even up-to-date experimental methods would not give us such a highly resolved picture of how atoms move in the NMDA receptor in such short periods of time as nanoseconds or microseconds (that is, billionth or millionth parts of a second)"

Here is a summary of the work on Anton Sinitskiy's blog.

Article link- https://www.nature.com/articles/srep44578

The Sherlock cluster is currently used by over 350 research groups at Stanford with over 2,000 members.

 

Mark Piercy