Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A Protein’s Path to the “Chamber of Doom”

14.07.2008
Researchers have uncovered a perilous pathway within the cell that rivals any road taken by Indiana Jones or his summer blockbuster companions: a slippery tube that funnels proteins into a “chamber of doom” where they are shredded and recycled into the building blocks of new proteins.

The tube is part of the 26S proteasome, an enzyme that acts as the cell’s protein garbage disposal. As described by researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the tube is a concentric stack of rings wrapped in molecular motors that speed the proteins toward the proteasome’s slicing and dicing core.

“The life of all proteins in our cells ends within the proteasome chamber of doom,” Technion author Michael Glickman explained. He suggested that the newly-described pathway “should be of interest in applications for diseases in which cells are unable to process degraded or misfolded proteins,” including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, some cancers, and age-related conditions such as cataract disease.

The study, published online in June in the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, will help researchers understand the basic biology of the proteasome and “its intrinsic essential function in a myriad of cellular pathways,” said Allen Taylor, who has studied proteasome function extensively as director of the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at Tufts University.

... more about:
»Glickman »Molecular »proteasome »structure

The 26S proteasome degrades proteins that are marked for destruction with a ubiquitin protein “tag.” The proteasome itself consists of two major structures: a large core structure where the proteins are degraded, and a smaller structure that serves as a kind of entryway where the tagged protein makes its first contact with the proteasome and is unfolded for its journey into the core. The tube described by Glickman and colleagues is part of the smaller structure, and serves a chute between the first contact site and the core.

The researchers used atomic force microscopy to visualize the extremely tiny tube, which Glickman described as two molecular “donuts” stacked on top of each other. The donut holes through which proteins pass is only two nanometers in diameter. (For comparison, the period at the end of this sentence is one million times wider than a nanometer.)

The tube is ringed by a group of energy-producing enzymes called ATPases, which act a motor to drive proteins through the tube. “One may see the entire machine as an external engine wrapping around an inner molecular stent for protein translocation, all situated atop the molecular shredder into which the proteins are fed,” Glickman explained.

It’s a natural design that engineers working on synthetic nanomachines might hope to copy in their own creations, he noted.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is Israel's leading science and technology university. Home to the country’s winners of the Nobel Prize in science, it commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in nanotechnology, computer science, biotechnology, water-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine. The majority of the founders and managers of Israel's high-tech companies are alumni. Based in New York City, the American Technion Society (ATS) is the leading American organization supporting higher education in Israel, with 22 offices around the country.

Kevin Hattori | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.ats.org

Further reports about: Glickman Molecular proteasome structure

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals
23.08.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Treating arthritis with algae
23.08.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>