Study Reveals the Crystal Structure of LSD Bound to the Human 5-HT2B Receptor

This structure reveals some reasons for the long-lasting effects of LSD and gives insight into the role of receptor signaling.

January 2017

This study is the first time researchers have gained insight into the molecular actions of any hallucinogen using the crystal structure of one of its receptors. The study reveals how LSD binds to serotonin receptors, alters receptor protein conformations, and affects signaling pathways. Information from this study also helped researchers understand how LSD prolongs the time it is bound to the receptor, explaining its long-lasting effects. The researchers also found that the serotonin receptor 5-HT2A, known to be responsible for psychedelic effects, has the same binding mode for LSD as 5-HT2B.