Like automobiles, ribosomes must pass through “quality control” after their many components are assembled. Only then can they be taken to their destination and proceed with their task – making proteins in the cell.
Quality control and ribosome export from cell nucleus to cytoplasm (schematic diagram)
Image: Ed Hurt
A team of scientists led by Prof. Dr. Ed Hurt at Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center investigated an important component in this control process. The researchers demonstrated that a specific protein, which occurs in all cells from yeast to humans, works like a molecular control switch and prevents incomplete ribosomes from leaving the “assembly hall”. The team’s findings have been published in “Nature“.
Ribosomes are macromolecular complexes consisting of a large number of parts comprising ribonucleic acids and ribosomal proteins arranged in a specific three-dimensional structure. Correct ribosome assembly is essential for the survival of all cells. The assembly process for these many components is subject to strict rules, similar to an automobile assembly line.
Before the finished car leaves the assembly hall, it is tested for full functionality and then sent to its destination. According to Prof. Hurt, there has been little research thus far on how this “quality check” takes place in ribosome assembly. The Heidelberg scientists have now identified the function of a protein from the energy-consuming GTPase family in this process.
Only correctly assembled ribosomes make it from the “assembly hall” in the cell nucleus to the cytoplasm, where they set about their real task of synthesising proteins. For export to the cytoplasm, nascent ribosomes must pass through a quality checkpoint for binding to export factor Nmd3.
Before binding, however, a signal has to be given that the assembly of the ribosome is correct and complete. Until then, a type of “control officer” occupies the site earmarked for Nmd3. The Heidelberg team has now demonstrated that this function is performed by a member of the GTPase protein family known as Nug2. Only when a specific enzyme swings into action to remodel the assembled ribosome for export to the cytoplasm, thereby consuming the energy stored by the GTPase, does the Nug2 “control officer” vacate its place and make way for export factor Nmd3. This is how the export of incomplete ribosomes is prevented.
Now that Prof. Hurt’s team has been successful in identifying the role played by control agent Nug2 in ribosome assembly, the researchers hope to gain even further insight into the functions of related proteins. These so-called nucleostemins are found in higher eukaryotes, including those of humans. The Heidelberg scientists plan to decipher the molecular mechanisms that various enzymes from the nucleostemin family use to combine the two fundamental cellular processes of ribosome formation and cell proliferation. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh (UK) also cooperated in the current research.Online information:
Marietta Fuhrmann-Koch | idw
Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst
25.04.2017 | Brown University
Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017
25.04.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
25.04.2017 | Life Sciences