Even though arsenic is toxic for many organs in the human body, it is used in the treatment of some forms of cancer, and it is an active component of drugs against parasitic diseases.
Arsenic is used in therapeutic medicine, but we know relatively little about the mechanisms by which cells develop resistance to arsenic, which may lead to a lower therapeutic effect.
Proteins control cellular processes
Scientist Doryaneh Ahmadpour at the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg, has carried out experiments with common baker’s yeast, in order to find out how inflow and outflow take place in cells.
“The knowledge we obtain from determining these mechanisms in yeast can be subsequently used in the long term to produce more effective drugs containing arsenic. A membrane protein known as Fps1 is particularly interesting. This protein transports the trivalent form of arsenic (arsenite) into and out from the cell,” says Doryaneh Ahmadpour.
She has worked with scientist Michael Thorsen to show how the Fps1 protein is regulated and how the inflow into the cell of arsenic is influenced by another protein, Hog1.
The results suggest that a reduction in the activity of Hog1 is an effective way of increasing the ability of the cell to absorb arsenic. This may make the cell more sensitive to arsenic and thus give more effective treatment.
Resistance to arsenic can be increased in a similar manner, by increasing the activity of Hog1, which reduces the inflow of arsenic into the cells.
“We have shown also that a protein known as Slt2 regulates the outflow of arsenic from the cell, and increases the resistance of the cell to arsenic. It is possible, in the same way, to regulate the cellular resistance against arsenic by controlling the activity of Slt2.”
Arsenic as a problem
Arsenic is a toxic metalloid that is naturally found in earth crust. It can be leached out by water or spread by industrial activity.
Arsenic is a global problem due to the increasing contamination of water, soil and crops, not only in the industrialized world but also in developing countries.
“High levels of arsenic in groundwater can lead to humans being exposed to toxic levels in food and water. This affects mainly people in regions in which the crops are watered with arsenic-contaminated water, leading to arsenic being stored in the plants.”
Increased knowledge about arsenic can be used to produce plants with a high absorption, and these can be used to clean contaminated land. The knowledge can also be used to produce food crops, known as “safe crops”, with a limited absorption and storage of arsenic.
The thesis has been successfully defended.For more information, please contact: Doryaneh Ahmadpour, Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg
When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short
23.03.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie
WPI team grows heart tissue on spinach leaves
23.03.2017 | Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences