The Human Orexin/Hypocretin Receptor Crystal Structures

  • Jie Yin
  • Daniel M. RosenbaumEmail author
Part of the Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences book series (CTBN, volume 33)


The human orexin/hypocretin receptors (hOX1R and hOX2R) are G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that mediate the diverse functions of the orexin/hypocretin neuropeptides. Orexins/hypocretins produced by neurons in the lateral hypothalamus stimulate their cognate GPCRs in multiple regions of the central nervous system to control sleep and arousal, circadian rhythms, metabolism, reward pathways, and other behaviors. Dysfunction of orexin/hypocretin signaling is associated with human disease, and the receptors are active targets in a number of therapeutic areas. To better understand the molecular mechanism of the orexin/hypocretin neuropeptides, high-resolution three-dimensional structures of hOX1R and hOX2R are critical. We have solved high-resolution crystal structures of both human orexin/hypocretin receptors bound to high-affinity antagonists. These atomic structures have elucidated how different small molecule antagonists bind with high potency and selectivity, and have also provided clues as to how the native ligands may associate with their receptors. The orexin/hypocretin receptor coordinates, now available to the broader academic and drug discovery community, will facilitate rational design of new therapeutics that modulate orexin/hypocretin signaling in humans.


Antagonist Crystal structure GPCR High-resolution Hypocretin Orexin 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiophysicsUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA

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