Adrenergic Pharmacology Tutorial using CHIME

These pages are designed to help students explore the concepts of structure/function relationships in the natural neurotransmitters/hormones of the autonomic nervous system and their implications for drug action and design. You will need to download the MDL CHIME plug-in to view them.
The buttons allow you to compare the structure of these compounds (standard view and wireframe) and the molecular surfaces these compounds present to a receptor or enzyme (spacefill and dot, which shows the Van de Walls surface). Left clicking the mouse on the image allows you to rotate it manually. Right clicking the mouse on the individual structure will allow you to alter several parameters, and show the structure in two dimensions.




 Reset             Wireframe             Ball and Stick             Spacefill             Dots
 Rotation on             Rotation off
Colour codes as follows: GREY = carbon, RED = oxygen, BLUE = Nitrogen, WHITE = hydrogen.

 This table shows the structure of the two classic neurotransmitters of the autonomic nervous system, noradrenaline (sympathetic nervous system), acetylcholine (cholinergic nervous system). Also shown is the circulating hormone adrenaline, which is released by sympathetic nervous system activation. This table provides an introduction to the structures we will be exploring, and the visualization methods used in the linked pages. Take a moment to explore these structures and the controls.

Note the structural resemblance between noradrealine and adrenaline, and their similar three dimensional shapes.

In the following pages, we will explore the structural features of these molecules that lead to their activity, and how these can be modified in various drugs. Click on one of the links below to enter either the adrenergic or cholinergic tutorial. Note that many of the following structures are models, and while the interactions described are well confirmed, the actual 3D shapes may be somewhat different from depicted.

[adrenergic drugs] [cholinergic drugs] [renin-angiotensin system]

Structures are from the Structure Data Base of the Department of Structural Organic Chemistry, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Science. Visualisation is through the MDL CHIME plug-in. This page produced by Dr. Ian Musgrave of the Department of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology, University of Adelaide.  Many thanks to Todd Carlson for the Java Button code!