Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Model of enzyme's structure could spur new therapies

07.11.2011
MAP kinase resolved well enough to spot potentially unique drug target

In many pharmaceutical company and university laboratories, scientists are looking closely at kinase complexes because the enzymes play key roles in essential cell functions.

By taking unusual steps to examine a kinase complex, researchers at Brown University and the National Institutes of Health have found a sought-after prize: an unprecedentedly detailed description of its structure complete with a rare location on its structure that could be a target for new therapeutic drugs.

"Disregulation always leads to disease," said Wolfgang Peti, associate professor of medicine and chemistry at Brown University and senior author of a paper published online Nov. 6 in Nature Chemical Biology. "To make better drugs, what we want to do is look for individual things that are different between different complexes. The problem is we didn't know where those non-common spots are. We didn't have the structures that tell us the story. We were the first to get one of those structures."

The complex that Peti, Brown colleague Rebecca Page, and their team has now characterized is hardly a household name: p38alpha:HePTP. It does however, matter in millions of households around the world. It is a member of the MAP kinase family, enzymes that regulate cell functions such as growth and inflammation. Diseases that correlate with disruptions to MAP kinase signaling include Alzheimer's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer.

To determine the structure, the group took the rare step of combining techniques including nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and small-angle X-ray scattering, using the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island. The result was the clearest picture yet of a MAP kinase complex, which turns out to measure a mere 108 Angstroms (tenths of billionths of a meter) long by 30 Angstroms wide. The resolution of their resulting model is on the scale of individual atoms.

To elucidate their model, they probed the complex to discover areas where p38alpha binds to different HePTP-derived peptides. They found a specific area called "KIS" that is responsible for how the p38alpha:HePTP complex forms in its unique way.

"That really showed there are these areas outside the common sites that are likely unique between different complexes," Peti said.

The next step is to learn more about KIS and the role it could ultimately play in disregulation and disease. In their paper, the authors expressed optimism that their newfound knowledge will have clinical relevance: "These results provide novel insights into the molecular interactions that regulate the strength and duration of MAP kinase signaling and, in turn, provide novel avenues for therapeutic interventions of MAP kinase-related diseases."

In addition to Peti and Page, other Brown authors include lead author Dana Francis and co-author Dorothy Koveal. Authors from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases were Bartosz Rozycki and Gerhard Hummer.

The American Cancer Society funded the research.

David Orenstein | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.brown.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>