Monday, November 22, 2021

The Brain Cell Receptor that is Linked to Depression and Anxiety


GPR158-RGS7-Gβ5 Structure Rendering

The structure for the GPR158-RGS7-Gβ5 Brain Cell Receptor was recently published by Scripps Research, Florida, Columbia University, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur in the journal Science in a paper called “Cryo-EM structure of human GPR158 receptor coupled to the RGS7-Gβ5 signaling complex”. This signaling complex is responsible for acting as the receptor for feelings of anxiety and depression. The structure was discovered using Cryo-EM, or Single-Particle Cryo-Electron Microscopy.

This structure appears on brain cells and can either be genetically inherited or can develop over time due to stress or trauma.

GPR158 is an orphan G-protein-coupled receptor, shown in the green and red colours of the rendering. RGS7, shown in blue, is the signaling complex. Gβ5 is shown in yellow and is paired together with RGS7 as part of the signaling complex. The lipid bilayer is shown in grey.

Now, with the structural information confirmed, drugs can be developed to disrupt the function of this receptor in a way that reduces the level of anxiety and depression in an affected person. More research for specific drug administration is needed, but having the structure of the receptor is a vast leap towards developing new medications to help with anxiety and depression.


  1. Hello Oliver,

    This is very interesting. As I've learned previously anxiety and depression can be inherited genetically but there are other factors that result in it. I do believe that damage to this receptor can cause these mental health disorders. Any sort of brain trauma to this area can result in it. I wonder if the removal of it would decrease the risk of developing anxiety or depression. There can definitely be medication that limit the exposure of developing these mental health disorders.

  2. Hey Oliver,
    This is incredible, more medications need to be made for people with anxiety and depression disorders. Hopefully medications can be made for people that have a difficult time metabolizing other depression and anxiety drugs so that side affects experienced are not as extreme.