Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Canadian scientists unlock secret of calcium waves in cells

12.12.2002


Key step in process of developing targeted therapeutics to combat epilepsy



Scientists from Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital are able to depict for the first time how an important molecule called IP3 and its receptor interact to control calcium levels in cells, a process that is vital to normal brain function.

The study is published in this week’s edition of the international scientific journal Nature, and is a collaboration between scientists at Princess Margaret Hospital’s research arm, Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI), the University of Toronto, and the University of Tokyo.


The IP3 molecule is one of a dozen molecules within cells that act as messengers, translating chemical stimulus outside of the cell into a physiological response-for instance, an increase in glutamate triggers memory. The translation by the IP3 molecule is accomplished by setting waves of different calcium levels within the cell, with the receptor regulating the ebb and flow of these calcium waves. The process is critical to normal brain function, playing an important role in memory and learning. It is also believed to play a key role in epilepsy, since mice lacking IP3 receptors suffer epileptic seizures and improper brain function.

The scientists examined the atomic structure of the IP3 molecule and its receptor, and now know exactly how they bind together. Having an accurate 3D picture of the molecule-receptor interaction may aid in the design of drugs that either enhance or block the process of setting calcium levels in cells.

"Imagine the receptor as a doorway through which calcium passes in order for the cells to react," said Ivan Bosanac, lead author of the study, researcher at OCI, and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto. "What we’ve done is describe the doorway’s keyhole and how the IP3 molecule acts as the key to unlock it."

"This finding represents an important milestone in developing potential drug therapies that could one day combat diseases such as epilepsy," said Dr. Mitsu Ikura, Senior Scientist with OCI, and Professor of Medical Biophysics at University of Toronto. "Although development of such therapies is years away and will require much more research, understanding how the molecule IP3 binds with its receptor is critical to regulating calcium levels in cells and ensuring normal brain function."

The research was supported by a fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health and Research, a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and by a grant from the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), in Japan. Dr. Ikura is a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Investigator. His laboratory at Princess Margaret Hospital is also supported by the George and Helen Vari Foundation.

Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm, Ontario Cancer Institute, have achieved an international reputation as global leaders in the fight against cancer. Princess Margaret Hospital is a member of the University Health Network, which also includes Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. All three are teaching hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto.

Vince Rice | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

nachricht CWRU researchers find a chemical solution to shrink digital data storage
22.06.2017 | Case Western Reserve University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>