Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

CSHL scientists discover new details of a gene-regulatory network governing metabolism

25.02.2008
NADP molecule regulates a cascade enabling yeast cells to adjust metabolic state

Metabolism is a central feature of life – a myriad of biochemical processes that, together, enable organisms to nourish and sustain themselves. Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) are in the forefront of efforts to demonstrate how the regulation of genes governs fundamental life processes, including metabolism.

Such research, performed on simple model organisms like yeast cells, has implications for efforts to understand natural processes such as aging and disease states including cancer.

This week a team at CSHL led by Professor Leemor Joshua-Tor, Ph.D., announced a new and unexpected wrinkle in a story they previously thought they understood about how yeast cells, through the action of genes, adjust their metabolism in response to changes in their sources of food. The team’s findings were published February 22 in the journal Science.

... more about:
»CSHL »Joshua-Tor »Protein »Source »metabolism »sugar »yeast

Adapting to New Energy Sources

“S. cerevisiae, or common baker’s yeast, can use any number of different types of sugar molecules for energy production,” noted Dr. Joshua-Tor, a structural biologist. “Importantly, the yeast cell can rapidly respond to changes in its nutritional environment by altering the expression of specific genes that allow it to make use of those different energy sources.”

This much, notes Dr. Joshua-Tor and colleagues, has been understood for years. “The players involved in this process have been known for some time. But we did not understand precisely how the components of this particular biochemical pathway worked together,” said Stephen Johnston, a professor at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University and a co-author of the study.

It was Dr. Joshua-Tor’s team at CSHL that took the step of investigating the architecture of the proteins involved in the pathway, at the level of individual atoms. Using a technique called x-ray crystallography, they discovered a “player” in the molecular cast of characters whose involvement previously had been overlooked.

The unexpected molecule is called NADP. The team discovered that when a yeast cell changes from using glucose, a simple sugar, as a nutritional source to using galactose, a more complex sugar often found in dairy products and vegetables such as sugar beets, NADP is called into action. It “docks” to a protein called Gal80p, which acts along with a gene regulating-protein called Gal4p, to adapt the metabolism of the yeast cell so that it can make use of galactose.

“Importantly, changes in cellular levels of NAD, a close relative of NADP, had previously been linked to a gene circuit that controls aging and longevity in a large number of different organisms, including yeast but also including animals,” said Professor Rolf Sternglanz of Stony Brook University in New York, a co-author of the study.

Why The Regulatory Cascade Is Important

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the metabolic state of a cell is linked to the expression of its genes in a way that impacts biological processes of many kinds, ranging from cancer to aging,” said Dr. Joshua-Tor. The biochemical cascade identified by the team is part of a complex chain of events whose object is regulation of the output of specific genes.

Not only does the team’s work help explain how links in that gene-regulatory chain are constructed. “Gene-regulatory proteins impact every property of a cell and have long been recognized as possible targets for drugs,” said Dr. Joshua-Tor. “However, these types of proteins have proven resistant to the chemistry of modern drug design. A detailed understanding of how gene regulatory proteins are controlled may offer new and unanticipated opportunities to design drugs that would impact this class of proteins.”

Jim Bono | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cshl.edu
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/319/5866/1090

Further reports about: CSHL Joshua-Tor Protein Source metabolism sugar yeast

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>