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Sci. Signal., 17 February 2009
Vol. 2, Issue 58, p. ec57
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.258ec57]


Neuroscience The Sigma-1 Receptor—Orphan No More

Peter Stern

Science, AAAS, Cambridge CB2 1LQ, UK

The sigma-1 receptor has long been fairly mysterious, originally identified as a molecule that binds opioid drugs and thought to be important in some psychiatric diseases and cocaine addiction. However, it has been an "orphan receptor" for years—lacking known endogenous ligands. Now Fontanilla et al. have used receptor binding, photoaffinity labeling and displacement, electrophysiology, and behavioral tests in knockout animals to demonstrate that the naturally occurring hallucinogen N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is the endogenous ligand for sigma-1 receptors.

D. Fontanilla, M. Johannessen, A. R. Hajipour, N. V. Cozzi, M. B. Jackson, A. E. Ruoho, The hallucinogen N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is an endogenous sigma-1 receptor regulator. Science 323, 934–937 (2009). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Citation: P. Stern, The Sigma-1 Receptor—Orphan No More. Sci. Signal. 2, ec57 (2009).

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