New insights into energy generation by heat shock protein Hsp90
Many enzymes work only with a co-trainer, of sorts. Scientists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) and the Cluster of Excellence Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM) show what this kind of cooperation looks like in detail using a novel methodology applied to the heat shock protein Hsp90.
As in a successful football match, all actors in a cell must play in perfect coordination. A typical example for this kind of cooperation can be seen in the heat shock protein Hsp90, which controls the proper folding of other proteins. Together with a second molecule, the co-chaperone P23, it splits the energy source ATP to yield the energy it needs to do its work.
However, while normal enzyme reactions often are easy to follow because the involved proteins alter their conformations clearly, the interaction between P23 and ATP involves significantly less conspicuous changes in state.
Using a sophisticated methodology, a team led by Professor Thorsten Hugel, head of the Research Group for Molecular Machines at the TU München and member of the Cluster of Excellence Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM), has now managed to observe this reaction in detail for the first time – step for step with single molecules of Hsp90, P23 and ATP.
Live transmission of molecular processes
To this end, the team adapted the so-called FRET (Foerster resonance energy transfer) methodology to suit their requirements. The approach works by using a variety of fluorescent dye molecules bonded to specific sites in the involved components. When these complexes are excited with light of a specific wavelength, the pigments start to fluoresce in a kind of chain reaction. The emitted fluorescent light reveals the precise distance between the marked sites, right down to the nanometer.
To determine exactly how the components Hsp90, P23 and ATP interact with each other, the biophysicists observed the positions and bonding sequences of the individual molecules over a span of several minutes. From the resulting data they could deduce even the smallest of changes, as well as the biological function of the overall complex.
Energy production only as a team
Using this approach, the Munich researchers successfully demonstrated in detail that the P23 protein strengthens ATP bonding, thereby significantly increasing the amount of energy exploited. They also showed that the two substances bond with Hsp90 this effectively only as a team, thereby allowing ATP splitting to be used so successful.
“Without P23 the heat shock enzyme effectively runs on idle,” explains Bjoern Hellenkamp the results. “When P23 joins the game, it is like shifting into gear. The energy is released and the reaction moves clearly in one direction. This is referred to as directionality.”
In the near future the biophysicists want to investigate in detail how Hsp90 uses the exploited energy. The newly established methodology also allows them to investigate other multicomponent systems with mechanisms that have eluded study because of their minimal conformational alterations.
Four-colour FRET reveals directionality in the Hsp90 multicomponent machinery
C. Ratzke, B. Hellenkamp, T. Hugel
Nature Communications 5, Article number: 4192. Published online: 20 June 2014
Andreas Battenberg | Technische Universität München
Stick insects produce bacterial enzymes themselves
31.05.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie
New Model of T Cell Activation
27.05.2016 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Physicists of the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich in collaboration with scientists from the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg have observed a light-matter phenomenon in nano-optics, which lasts only attoseconds.
The interaction between light and matter is of key importance in nature, the most prominent example being photosynthesis. Light-matter interactions have also...
A biological and energy-efficient process, developed and patented by the University of Innsbruck, converts nitrogen compounds in wastewater treatment facilities into harmless atmospheric nitrogen gas. This innovative technology is now being refined and marketed jointly with the United States’ DC Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water). The largest DEMON®-system in a wastewater treatment plant is currently being built in Washington, DC.
The DEMON®-system was developed and patented by the University of Innsbruck 11 years ago. Today this successful technology has been implemented in about 70...
Permanent magnets are very important for technologies of the future like electromobility and renewable energy, and rare earth elements (REE) are necessary for their manufacture. The Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg, Germany, has now succeeded in identifying promising approaches and materials for new permanent magnets through use of an in-house simulation process based on high-throughput screening (HTS). The team was able to improve magnetic properties this way and at the same time replaced REE with elements that are less expensive and readily available. The results were published in the online technical journal “Scientific Reports”.
The starting point for IWM researchers Wolfgang Körner, Georg Krugel, and Christian Elsässer was a neodymium-iron-nitrogen compound based on a type of...
In the Beyond EUV project, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen and for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena are developing key technologies for the manufacture of a new generation of microchips using EUV radiation at a wavelength of 6.7 nm. The resulting structures are barely thicker than single atoms, and they make it possible to produce extremely integrated circuits for such items as wearables or mind-controlled prosthetic limbs.
In 1965 Gordon Moore formulated the law that came to be named after him, which states that the complexity of integrated circuits doubles every one to two...
Characterization of high-quality material reveals important details relevant to next generation nanoelectronic devices
Quantum mechanics is the field of physics governing the behavior of things on atomic scales, where things work very differently from our everyday world.
24.05.2016 | Event News
20.05.2016 | Event News
19.05.2016 | Event News
31.05.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
31.05.2016 | Life Sciences
31.05.2016 | Information Technology