Biased ligand of GPCR

Project Details

  • Client :
    University of Illinois at Chicago
  • What We Did :
  • Tools Used :
    Photoshop, 3D Studio Max
  • Completed on :
    December 2015
  • Skills :
    3D sculpting
  • Audience :
    Healthcare Professionals

Biased ligand of GPCR

This molecular landscape shows the accurate binding of a Carvedilol to the beta-1 adrenergic receptor, a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) that is expressed in the heart. This 3D still image is targeting the medical professional audience and communicates the mechanism of action of biased ligands, a current topic in pharmacology.

Step 1: Science download

We sat down with the client to understand the science behind the concept requested. With the emphasis put on the accurate binding, a storyboard was created based on primary literature.

Step 2: Asset building

All molecules were created using Visual Molecular Dynamics (VMD), which creates a 3D model from a data in the Protein Data Bank (PDB). The size relationship with proteins with the lipid bilayer was measured using Orientations of Proteins in Membranes.

Final Deliverable


The goal of this artwork is to create an accurate illustration to effectively communicate the science behind the topic. The 7 helices of the GPCR were separated and color-coded using UniProt.