2019 AMI Online Salon

Biased Signaling in the Mu-Opioid Receptor

Project Details

  • Entrant Name: Victoria Zakrzewski

  • Membership Type: Student Submission

  • Other Contributors:                         

  • Address: Chicago,IL

  • Client: University of Illinois at Chicago

  • Medium/software used: VMD, Autodesk 3ds Max, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign

  • Final presentation format: Printed Poster

  • Primary Audience: Pharmaceutical professionals

Project Description

This image captures an activated mu-opioid receptor bound to a Gi protein, with a beta-arrestin lurking in the intracellular environment. The mu-opioid receptor and Gi protein are portrayed with ribbon structures that give a sense of their architecture, and transparent surface structures that provide information about their volume. A warm coloring and soft appearance of the complex casts the structures in a hopeful light, while a green, hard appearance of the beta-arrestin casts the structure in a menacing light. These creative decisions, which enforce the information supplied by the text, help influence the viewers understanding of the involved structures. This purpose of this assignment was to develop a still image that captures a moment in a molecular story. Information from the Protein Data Bank and VMD informed the protein structures, which were modeled in Autodesk 3ds Max, resulting in a dynamic composition that conveys tension between the Gi-complex and unbound beta-arrestin.