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 Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

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...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

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...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

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...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>