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 Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

nachricht The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>