Copper is an essential part of our lives. From copper pipes and wires - to important copper-containing proteins in the body, copper is necessary for healthy growth and neurological development. Researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University are studying how copper is processed in our bodies and its distinct role in early development.
Their findings, published in a recent edition of the journal Cell Metabolism, identify a new role for two proteins involved with copper regulation. This study may lead to a better understanding of how to treat individuals affected by copper imbalances.
"Copper is important in maintaining healthy cells. When copper is not properly regulated in the body it can lead to diseases of the liver, kidneys, brains and eyes," says Dr. Eric Shoubridge, a professor of Human Genetics at the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University and lead investigator. "We know that copper is especially important in early development, playing a vital role in the proper formation of organs. Mutations in two copper-carrying proteins, SCO1 and SCO2 have been implicated in a number of neonatal diseases."
Copper is required for the activity of a number of enzymes including cytochrome c oxidase (COX) in the mitochondria -the energy suppliers of the body. "Our study is the first to characterize an unexpected cell-signaling or messenger role for the two copper-carrying proteins, SCO1 and SCO2, which are necessary for the assembly of COX," says Shoubridge.
To characterize the roles of SCO1 and SCO2, Shoubridge and colleagues looked at cells that contained mutated forms of either one or both of these molecules. The study shows that both proteins have a role in maintaining the balance of copper between different cellular compartments. "These findings add two members to a growing list of bi-functional proteins that participate in copper metabolism." adds Shoubridge. "Identifying this new role for SCO1 and SCO2 is significant in developing better therapies for several neurological diseases.
Anita Kar | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy