Cells communicate with their environment via receptors on their surface. When a protein approaches these receptors, they can pass along a message to the inside of the cell, for example the instruction to grow which can lead to tumor formation. New research by the team of prof. Savvas Savvides (VIB-UGent, Belgium), the National Cancer Research Institute (Tokyo, Japan), the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York, U.S.), and ℏ bioconsulting (Minnesota, U.S.) reveals the 3D structure of the ALK receptor, which is involved in various cancers and other diseases. These insights can lead to the understanding of the function of these receptors, the first important step towards therapeutic approaches. The work appears in the journal Nature.