Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Computer Simulations Point To Key Molecular Basis Of Cystic Fibrosis

03.03.2008
Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have identified a key molecular mechanism that may account for the development of cystic fibrosis, which about 1 in 3000 children are born with in the US every year. The findings, published February 29 in the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology, add new knowledge to understanding the development of this disease and may also point the way to new corrective treatments.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a fatal disease caused by a defective gene that produces a misshapen form of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein. People with cystic fibrosis do not have enough CFTR for their cells to work normally because their bodies quickly destroy the mutant protein. The deletion of this protein specifically occurs in a major domain of CFTR called NBD1. Earlier experimental studies have shown that the mutant NBD1 has an increased tendency to misfold, resulting in the premature degradation of CFTR.

In CF, the molecular basis of this increased misfolding tendency has remained elusive, said team leader Nikolay Dokholyan.

“Understanding molecular etiology of the disease is a key step to developing pharmaceutical strategies to fight this disease,” Dokholyan said.

... more about:
»CFTR »Mutant »NBD1 »cystic »fibrosis »fold

Using molecular dynamics simulations, the researchers performed extensive simulations of how normal and mutant NBD1 folded. Molecular dynamics simulation is akin to a “virtual experiment” wherein atoms and molecules are allowed to evolve according to known physical laws. Using computers, this virtual experiment allows researchers to view how atoms actually move. These simulations, when applied to the NBD1 protein, showed that the disease-causing mutant exhibits a higher misfolding tendency.

More importantly, by comparing the structures of the normal and the mutant NBD1 domains as they fold, the authors were able to determine critical pairs of amino acid residues that must come together for NBD1 to fold correctly. These interactions are modulators of CFTR folding, and hence, they are potential modulators of CF.

“Computer simulations approximate our understanding of natural phenomena. That our simulations correlated with known experimental studies is remarkable,” Dokholyan said. “More importantly, the molecular details of aberrant NBD1 folding provides guidance for the design of small molecule drugs to correct the most prevalent and pathogenic mutation in CFTR.”

The first author of the study is Adrian Serohijos, a graduate student in the department of Physics and Astronomy at UNC and in the Molecular and Cellular Biophysics Program. Other co-authors in the study include John Riordan, Ph.D., co-discoverer of the CFTR gene and professor of biochemistry and biophysics, and Tamas Hegedus, Ph.D. of the UNC Cystic Fibrosis Research Center.

This study was supported in part by grants from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the American Heart Association.

Andrew Hyde | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ploscompbiol.org

Further reports about: CFTR Mutant NBD1 cystic fibrosis fold

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>