Scientists are using tiny fluorescent beads to track a protein that regulates serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mood, appetite, and sleep.
The regulatory protein that the Vanderbilt University scientists tagged is known as the serotonin transporter. It’s a protein that extends through the membrane that forms the nerve’s outer surface and acts like a nano-sized vacuum cleaner that sucks serotonin molecules into the cell body and away from serotonin target receptors on other cells.
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Photo credit: Jerry Chang/Vanderbilt