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 Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

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 Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>