All of life is founded on the interactions of millions of proteins. These are the building blocks for cells and form the molecular mechanisms of life. The problem is that proteins are extremely difficult to study, particularly because there are so many of them and they appear in all sizes and weights.
Now, Kris Gevaert from VIB/Ghent University and colleagues from the universities of Freiburg and Bochum have achieved a breakthrough in protein research. Using yeast, they have succeeded in making virtually the complete inventory of all the proteins in the mitochondria, the energy producers found in every cell. Their research findings are being published in Cell, the most prestigious professional journal in the life sciences field.
During their research, the scientists encountered the Icp55 enzyme, which fulfills an important role in the stabilization of the proteins in the mitochondria. Until now, it was unclear just how the cell accomplished this. Icp55 turns out to be a molecular pair of scissors that snips off one of the ends of certain proteins, so that these proteins are transformed from an unstable to a stable form.
"This is a crucial step for fundamental research on proteins, the building blocks of life," says Kris Gevaert, VIB researcher at Ghent University. "It's the first time that such a precise protein determination of the mitochondria has been achieved. Our breakthrough was made possible by COFRADIC, a technology that enables us to analyze protein mixtures much more sensitively and accurately."
"We're now able to detect protein forms that were simply overlooked before," Kris Gevaert continues. "So we're receiving requests for scientific collaborations from all over the world."
COFRADIC is a technology developed by VIB/Ghent University researchers Joël Vandekerckhove and Kris Gevaert. With COFRADIC, the traditional conception of protein identification has been turned upside-down. Instead of first separating the intact proteins, the entire protein mixture is cut into small pieces (peptides) − which are more soluble and much easier to separate in order to conduct further analyses. Applying this approach to the samples provided by the German scientists revealed a new protein (Icp55) − which proved to be key in explaining protein stabilization in mitochondria, a mystery that has been unsolved up to now.
Joris Gansemans | EurekAlert!
The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona
Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research