Computationally Designing a Mu Opiod Receptor Variant (image) University of Pennsylvania Share Print E-Mail Caption Hydrophobic groups on the exterior of the mu opioid receptor makes experimenting on new painkilling drugs difficult, since the receptor can't be taken out of cellular membranes and put in solution. Penn researchers set out to design a free-standing variant of this receptor. Starting with its gene sequence, they built a computer model of the receptor, then identified the exterior groups that needed to be replaced in order for the receptor to be soluble. After finding a combination that would not overlap in space, they recombinantly produced the variant in E.coli and tested them against the receptor's natural antagonists. Credit Jose Manuel Perez Aguilar Usage Restrictions With credit. Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.