Biology Question


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Molecular target/Mechanism of action paper: After graduating, you join a medical group conducting basic and clinical research. Your boss says that the clinical staff and new students are sharp and motivated, but don’t understand the molecular target and mechanism of action of a key drug class very well. Seeing an opportunity, you volunteer to write a short review paper (~1200-1500 words and may include 1 or 2 pages of figures/tables/diagrams) or a Fact Sheet for your colleagues. You will also briefly describe how disruption of normal function can result in human diseases/disorders. Select a target/mechanism from a list to be provided or propose your own. Resources including primary literature and reviews will also be provided. You may write this in either the form of a) a traditional review paper or b) as a fact sheet (3 pages with diagrams/figures/tables related to text).

For a traditional review,
Write 1200-1500 words describing a molecular target or pathway following a journal format. May include Figures and Tables. Include three or more references.

For a fact sheet
3 Page Fact Sheet for Colleagues and Other Students on a molecular target or mechanism of action/pathway

For a molecular target review or fact sheet
Should include information from three or more references on:
1. Gene(s)
2. Protein(s)
3. Gene expression
4. Involvement in disease pathogenesis and/or pathophysiology
5. Description of a marketed medicine or drug.

For a mechanism of action review or fact sheet
Should include description of
1. Molecular structure and/or cellular pathway
2. Normal function and regulation of this pathway (i.e., no disease)
3. Changes in the mechanism or pathway that occur in one or more disease states
4. Any existing therapeutics that modulate this mechanism/pathway including there relative effectiveness (how well do they work) and safety (what types of safety issues are observed with this mechanism/pathway)

Examples of possible targets/pathways:

1. G-protein coupled receptors

Serotonin receptors – 5-HT1A, 5-HT!D, 5-HT2A, 5-HT2C, 5-HT-3, 5-HT4

Dopamine receptors – D1, D2, D3, D4, D5

metabotropic glutamate receptors – mGluR1, mGluR5, mGluR4, mGluR8

Calcium Sensing Receptor (CASR)

Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP1R)

Melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R)

Frizzled 1, 2, 3, 4, etc (Wnt Pathway)

2. Ion Channels

Ligand-gated Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors (iGluRs) – kainate, AMPA, NMDA

Ligand-gated Nicotinic Receptors – alpha 3-beta 4, alpha 7, alpha 6

Voltage gated Calcium channels (CaV) – L-type, N-type, T-type

Voltage gated Sodium channels (NaV) – TTX-sensitive, TTX-insensitive

3. Receptor Tyrosine Kinases

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)

Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor (VEGFR)

Insulin Receptors

4. Nuclear Hormone receptors

Estrogen receptors

Androgen receptors

Glucocorticoid receptors



5. Pathways

MAP Kinase pathways

JAK/STAT pathways

Wnt pathway


Sonic Hedgehog

Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) pathways

Apoptotic pathways & signaling – Bcl, BclX, BAX,

and many, many more!

and an example is attached below!

Explanation & Answer

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