LOEWE Research Cluster GLUE Investigation of substances on GPCRs - Smelling with the help of receptors

In order for all areas of the body to function, information must be passed on within our body: From outside the cell via a membrane to the inside of the cell. This information is passed on via channels or via receptors, a large group of receptors involved is the group of G-protein coupled receptors, the so-called GCPR'S. These penetrate the cell membrane to pass on information. A large part of the approx. 800 GCPR's that we have in our body are involved in the smelling process - With the help of these receptors, we can perceive different smells - others in the transmission of pain or the control of blood pressure. Approximately 30 percent of the active ingredients used to treat diseases bind to the same sites as the body's own molecule. This can lead to side effects. In order to avoid this in the future, the scientists of the LOEWE research focus "GLUE - G protein-coupled receptor ligands for underexplored epitopes" are looking for previously unknown binding sites. 


What are the two ingredients in caraway and spearmint called and how do they differ? 

To find out, you can easily study the binding of substances to GPCRs yourself at home! How it works? You need cumin and chewing gum with spearmint. Now smell both and note the different "smelling results", it's best if you make a few notes about them. Now look for the ingredients of caraway and spearmint and try to find out the two chemical structural formulas and find out what the names of the two ingredients are and how they differ. For the explanation it is helpful if you create a spatial model of the two ingredients. You can use toothpicks and modeling clay, for example, but also any other objects that you can think of. Pay attention to the individual angles that each atom has in the molecules. 

Have fun & good luck with the solution!