Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Insights into the Control of Cellular Protein Production

11.01.2010
Researchers of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Germany, have gained new insights into the control of cellular protein production.

Experimental analysis of genetically modified mice revealed that an evolutionary conserved regulatory mechanism of protein production plays an important role in highly developed mammals.

The mouse-model findings of Dr. Klaus Wethmar, Professor Achim Leutz and colleagues could contribute to the development of new therapies and drugs to combat diseases such as cancer. (Genes & Development, doi: 10.1101/gad.557910).*

Proteins are the building blocks of every living cell. The blueprints of the proteins are encoded in the DNA of genes. These blueprints are first transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA), which then serve as a template for protein production. Some mRNAs contain short upstream open reading frames (uORFs), which control protein production depending on the respective cell physiology. Such regulatory uORFs occur in all organisms from yeast to humans. They are predominantly prevalent in the mRNAs of key regulatory proteins involved in cell proliferation and differentiation as well as cell metabolism and cellular stress management.

In their studies on a mouse model, MDC researchers led by Professor Leutz succeeded for the first time in detecting and measuring the physiological relevance of an uORF conserved in all vertebrates including humans. They discovered that mice deficient in the uORF of an important regulatory protein showed disturbed liver regeneration and impaired bone growth. Based on these findings, together with the widespread prevalence of uORFs in numerous other mRNAs, the MDC researchers suggest that evolutionary conserved uORFs may have comprehensive regulatory functions in the living organism.

The MDC scientists suspect that regulation of protein production by uORFs is associated with many diseases, in particular cancer diseases, since for example the transcripts of growth factors or oncogenes often contain uORFs. "Currently, no drugs exist which specifically target the control of protein production by uORFs," Professor Leutz explained. "However, since the regulatory function of uORFs is highly relevant, it would be reasonable to screen for drugs which can influence the function of uORFs."

*C/EBPbeta?uORF mice - a genetic model for uORF-mediated translational control in mammals
Klaus Wethmar1,2, Valérie Bégay1,3, Jeske J. Smink1,3, Katrin Zaragoza1,3, Volker Wiesenthal1,4, Bernd Dörken2, Cornelis F. Calkhoven5 and Achim Leutz1,6,7
1) Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Robert Rössle Str. 10, D-13092 Berlin, Germany.
2) Charité, Campus Virchow Klinikum, University Medicine Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, D-13353 Berlin, Germany.
3) These authors contributed equally to this study and are listed in alphabetical order.
4) Current address: Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V., Heinrich-Konen-Str. 1, 53227 Bonn, Germany.
5) Leibniz Institute for Age Research - Fritz Lipmann Institute, Beutenbergstr. 11, D-07745 Jena, Germany.
6) Department of Biology, Humboldt-University, Invalidenstr. 43, D-10115 Berlin, Germany.

7) Corresponding author

Barbara Bachtler
Press and Public Affairs
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
Robert-Rössle-Straße 10; 13125 Berlin; Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 96
Fax: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 33
e-mail: presse@mdc-berlin.de

Barbara Bachtler | Max-Delbrück-Centrum
Further information:
http://www.mdc-berlin.de/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

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....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

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....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

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...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

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...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>