LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Endothelin-1 molecule. Computer model showing the crystal structure of a molecule of the protein endothelin-1 (EDN1). The crystal structure consists of both the secondary structure, represented by an alpha helix (ribbon), and primary structure (rods). Endothelins are proteins that constrict blood vessels (vasoconstriction) causing a rise in blood pressure. They are part of a system involved in maintaining stable conditions (homeostasis) within the vascular system. They can contribute to high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart disease if levels are too high.
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