Molecule responsible for causing feelings of depression identified

Last Updated: Jul 22, 2013, 13:25 PM IST

Washington: Researchers have claimed that they have discovered molecules that are responsible for stress, anxiety and even depression.

They discovered that the protein receptor CRF1 is responsible for releasing hormones which could cause anxiety and depression over long time periods, the Independent reported.

Researchers in their study, conducted by drug company Heptares Therapeutics, used a particle accelerator known as Diamond Light Source for understanding the CRF1 structure.

According to Sunday Times, the X-ray machine`s powerful beams illuminated the protein`s structure, which includes a crevice that is capable of becoming the new target for drug therapy.

Dr Fiona Marshall, Chief Scientific Officer at Heptares Therapeutics, said that since the shape is now known, a molecule can be designed which is going to lock into this crevice and block it so that CRF1 becomes inactive - ending the biochemical cascade that ends in stress.

The study has been published in the Nature journal.

ANI