Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Biochemists Discover New Mechanism in Ribosome Formation

02.11.2012
Hitching a ride into the nucleus: Protein controls synchronised transport of ribosome factors

A new mechanism in the formation of ribosomes has been discovered by researchers from the Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center. In an interdisciplinary approach, the Heidelberg scientists, along with colleagues from Switzerland and Japan, describe a heretofore uncharacterised protein that plays a specific role in ribosome assembly in eukaryotes, organisms whose cells contain a cell nucleus.

This protein makes sure that specific factors required for ribosome synthesis are transported together, like hitchhikers, into the nucleus to the site of assembly. The results of this research were published in “Science”.

Ribosomes, the protein factories of the cell, are macromolecular complexes of ribonucleic acids (RNA) and ribosomal proteins (r-proteins) that are organised in a highly complicated three-dimensional nanostructure. Correct synthesis of ribosomes is critical for the division of all cells and is a process that follows strict rules.

In eukaryotes, new ribosomes are formed predominantly in the cell nucleus. Therefore, the r-proteins needed for ribosome formation must travel from the cytoplasm of the cell to a site in the nucleus where the ribosomes are assembled. Until recently it was not clear whether r-proteins that have a similar function and form functional clusters on the ribosome structure are also co-transported into the nucleus.

The researchers have now found a protein that coordinates the co-transport of certain r-proteins in functional clusters into the cell nucleus. This factor is called Symportin1, for synchronised import. “Symportin1 synchronises the import of both the Rpl5 and Rpl11 r-proteins into the cell nucleus and supports their integration into the growing ribosome structure”, explains Prof. Dr. Irmgard Sinning of the Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center (BZH). “It employs a familiar logistical concept from every day life, like picking up a hitchhiker or sharing a taxi with someone headed for the same destination”, says Dr. Gert Bange of the BZH, lead author of the study together with Dr. Dieter Kressler (now of Fribourg University).

The researchers from Heidelberg University and the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) collaborated closely with colleagues from Osaka University in Japan on the research. “The combination of different methods ranging from traditional cell biology to new biophysical approaches was crucial in developing the detailed picture of this previously unknown biological mechanism”, emphasises Prof. Dr. Ed Hurt, also of the BZH. The study took advantage of the Biochemistry Center’s crystallisation platform and the research received support from the Cluster of Excellence “CellNetworks” of Heidelberg University.

Original publication:
D. Kressler, G. Bange, Y. Ogawa, G. Stjepanovic, B. Bradatsch, D. Pratte, S. Amlacher, D. Strauß, Y. Yoneda, J. Kata-hira, I. Sinning, E. Hurt: Synchronizing Nuclear Import of Ribosomal Proteins with Ribosome Assembly, Science (2 November 2012), Vol. 338 no. 6107, 666-671, doi: 10.1126/science.1226960
Contact:
Prof. Dr. Irmgard Sinning / Prof. Dr. Ed Hurt
Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center
Phone: +49 (0)6221 54-4781, -4173
Irmi.sinning@bzh.uni-heidelberg.de
ed.hurt@bzh.uni-heidelberg.de
Communications and Marketing
Press Office
phone: +49 6221 54-2311
presse@rektorat.uni-heidelberg.de

Marietta Fuhrmann-Koch | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-heidelberg.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cells cling and spiral 'like vines' in first 3-D tissue scaffold for plants
27.08.2015 | University of Cambridge

nachricht Cellular contamination pathway for plutonium, other heavy elements, identified
27.08.2015 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?

A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...

Im Focus: Self-healing landscape: landslides after earthquake

In mountainous regions earthquakes often cause strong landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy rain. However, after an initial increase, the frequency of these mass wasting events, often enormous and dangerous, declines, in fact independently of meteorological events and aftershocks.

These new findings are presented by a German-Franco-Japanese team of geoscientists in the current issue of the journal Geology, under the lead of the GFZ...

Im Focus: FIC Proteins Send Bacteria Into Hibernation

Bacteria do not cease to amaze us with their survival strategies. A research team from the University of Basel's Biozentrum has now discovered how bacteria enter a sleep mode using a so-called FIC toxin. In the current issue of “Cell Reports”, the scientists describe the mechanism of action and also explain why their discovery provides new insights into the evolution of pathogens.

For many poisons there are antidotes which neutralize their toxic effect. Toxin-antitoxin systems in bacteria work in a similar manner: As long as a cell...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IPA develops prototype of intelligent care cart

It comes when called, bringing care utensils with it and recording how they are used: Fraunhofer IPA is developing an intelligent care cart that provides care staff with physical and informational support in their day-to-day work. The scientists at Fraunhofer IPA have now completed a first prototype. In doing so, they are continuing in their efforts to improve working conditions in the care sector and are developing solutions designed to address the challenges of demographic change.

Technical assistance systems can improve the difficult working conditions in residential nursing homes and hospitals by helping the staff in their work and...

Im Focus: A Grand Voyage for Tiny Organisms

Climate and Ecosystem Change in the Mediterranean

Since the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 many hundreds of marine animal and plant species from the Red Sea have invaded the eastern Mediterranean, leading...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Networking conference in Heidelberg for outstanding mathematicians and computer scientists

20.08.2015 | Event News

Scientists meet in Münster for the world’s largest Chitin und Chitosan Conference

20.08.2015 | Event News

Large agribusiness management strategies

19.08.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cells cling and spiral 'like vines' in first 3-D tissue scaffold for plants

27.08.2015 | Life Sciences

Hypoallergenic parks: Coming soon?

27.08.2015 | Health and Medicine

Stiffer breast tissue in obese women promotes tumors

27.08.2015 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>