Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists Discover New Way Protein Degradation Is Regulated

29.04.2013
Proteins, unlike diamonds, aren’t forever. And when they wear out, they need to be degraded in the cell back into amino acids, where they will be recycled into new proteins.

Researchers at Rockefeller University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have identified a new way that the cell’s protein recycler, the proteasome, takes care of unwanted and potentially toxic proteins, a finding that has implications for treating muscle wasting, neurodegeneration and cancer.

The consensus among scientists has been that the proteasome is constantly active, chewing up proteins that have exceeded their shelf life. A mounting body of evidence now suggests that the proteasome is dynamically regulated, ramping up its activity when the cell is challenged with especially heavy protein turnover.

The researchers, postdoctoral associate Park F. Cho-Park and Hermann Steller, head of the Strang Laboratory of Apoptosis and Cancer Biology at Rockefeller, have shown that an enzyme called tankyrase regulates the proteasome’s activity. In addition, Cho-Park and Steller demonstrate that a small molecule called XAV939, originally identified by scientists at Novartis who developed it as therapeutic for colon cancer, inhibits tankyrase and blocks the proteasome’s activity. The research is reported in today’s issue of the journal Cell.

“Our findings have tremendous implications for the clinic since it gives a new meaning to an existing class of small-molecule compound,” says Steller, Strang Professor at Rockefeller and an investigator at HHMI. “In particular, our work suggests that tankyrase inhibitors may be clinically useful for treating multiple myeloma.”

Tankyrase was originally identified in the late 1990s by Rockefeller’s Titia de Lange and her colleagues in the Laboratory for Cell Biology and Genetics, who showed that it plays a role in elongating telomeres, structures that cap and protect the ends of chromosomes. In a series of experiments in fly and human cells, Cho-Park and Steller discovered that tankyrase uses a process called ADP-ribosylation to modify PI31, a key factor that regulates the activity and assembly of proteasome subunits into the active complex called 26S. By promoting the assembly of more 26S particles, cells under stress can boost their ability to break down and dispose of unwanted proteins.

The proteasome is currently a target for developing cancer therapeutics. The FDA has approved Velcade, a proteasome inhibitor, for the treatment of multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma. However, patients on Velcade can experience peripheral neuropathy or become resistant to the drug.

Multiple myeloma cells need increased proteasome activity to survive. Preliminary data from Cho-Park and Steller show that XAV939 can block the growth of multiple myeloma cells by inhibiting the assembly of additional proteasomes without affecting the basal level of proteasomes in the cell. This selective targeting may mean fewer side effects for patients. “Drugs, such as XAV939, that inhibit the proteasome through other mechanisms than Velcade may have significant clinical value,” says Steller.

The findings by Cho-Park and Steller also link, for the first time, metabolism and regulation of the proteasome. Sometimes the proteasome digests too much protein, which can lead to loss of muscle, says Steller.

“This discovery reveals fundamental insights into protein degradation, a process important for normal cell biology, and a key factor in disorders such as muscle wasting and neurodegeneration,” said Stefan Maas of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which partly supported the study. “Intriguingly, the findings also enlighten ongoing research on cancer therapies, exemplifying the impact of basic research on drug development.”

Joseph Bonner | Newswise
Further information:
http://www.rockefeller.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Genetic Regulation of the Thymus Function Identified
23.08.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Sun protection for plants - Plant substances can protect plants against harmful UV radiation
22.08.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

PyFR code combines high accuracy with flexibility to resolve unsteady turbulence problems

Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...

Im Focus: X-ray optics on a chip

Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.

In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...

Im Focus: Piggyback battery for microchips: TU Graz researchers develop new battery concept

Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.

Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...

Im Focus: UCI physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature

Light particle could be key to understanding dark matter in universe

Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...

Im Focus: Wi-fi from lasers

White light from lasers demonstrates data speeds of up to 2 GB/s

A nanocrystalline material that rapidly makes white light out of blue light has been developed by KAUST researchers.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

A week of excellence: 22 of the world’s best computer scientists and mathematicians in Heidelberg

12.08.2016 | Event News

Towards the connected, automated and electrified automobiles: AMAA conference in Brussels

02.08.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche

24.08.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

24.08.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>