Small proteins help deliver receptors to the surface of our
Receptors on the surface of our cells enable a wide variety of functions from our sense of smell to memory.

Now scientists are learning more about the constant export of these receptors from inside the cell where they are made, to the cell surface where they function. When they don't travel well, diseases and deficits can result.

"We want to better understand how receptors make this essential journey because we need to understand it and because we hope that one day we can rescue receptors that don't," said Dr. Guangyu Wu, pharmacologist in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

His focus is the largest of three classes of cell surface receptors called G protein-coupled receptors, or GPCRs, which are involved in a wide range of functions from taste and smell to regulating our immune system and mood. Their wide-ranging functions also make GPCRs a big target for manufactured drugs.

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