Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Molecular code broken for drug industry's pet proteins

14.12.2007
All cells are surrounded by protective, fatty membranes.In the cell membrane there are thousands of membrane proteins that transport nutritional substances, ions, and water through the membrane.

Membrane proteins are also necessary for cells to recognize each other in the body and for a nervous system, for example, to be formed. Researchers at Stockholm University in Sweden have now managed to reveal the "molecular code" that governs the insertion of proteins in the cell membrane. This work is reported in an article being published on December 13 in the journal Nature.

About 25 percent of all proteins in a cell are found in the cell membrane. Since they regulate all communication between the inside of the cell and the surrounding environment, many membrane proteins are crucial to the life of the cell. Disruptions of their functions often lead to diseases of various kinds. For the drug industry, membrane proteins are high priority "drug targets."

To be suitable for deployment in the fatty cell membrane, all membrane proteins must be lipophiles ("fat-lovers"). All cells have special machinery for producing and dealing with "fatty" proteins and to see to it that they are deployed in proper manner in the cell membrane. The Stockholm University scientists have developed a method for the detailed study of the properties of a membrane protein that are required for it to be recognized by the cell machinery. A couple of years ago the research team published a first article in Nature in which they managed to show that there is a "fat threshold" that determines whether a protein can be deployed to a membrane or not. In this new study they have fully revealed the molecular code that governs the structure of membrane proteins.

... more about:
»Drug »Membrane »cell membrane

"Now that we have deciphered the code, we can determine with a high degree of certainty which parts of a protein will fasten in the membrane." says Gunnar von Heijne.

This new knowledge will help researchers all over the world who are trying to understand more about the cell and its membrane, not least in the drug industry.

"Interest in membrane proteins is at a peak right now, and our findings can be key pieces of the puzzle for pharmaceutical chemists working with drug design, for example," says Gunnar von Hejne.

Name of article
Molecular code for transmembrane-helix recognition by the Sec61 translocon. Nature, December 13.

Maria Erlandsson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eks.su.se

Further reports about: Drug Membrane cell membrane

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water world
20.11.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

nachricht Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity
20.11.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>