Scientists announce in the current issue of the journal Nature their discovery that plants respond to environmental stresses with a sequence of molecular signals known in humans and other mammals as the "G-protein signaling pathway," revealing that this signaling strategy has long been conserved throughout evolution. Because a large percentage of all the drugs approved for use in humans target the G-protein signaling pathway, the team’s findings could also be used in the search for plant compounds that regulate the pathway in mammals, possibly leading to new drugs for human diseases.
In addition, the research identifies the enzyme in plants that triggers the production of an important molecule, S1P, in this signaling system. The enzyme in mammals is known to play a critical role in regulating the proliferation and death of cells. "Our research also indicates that the S1P-G-protein signaling pathway is the previously unknown genetic basis of characteristics that regulate a plant’s ability to withstand drought," says Sarah M. Assmann, the Waller Professor of Plant Biology at Penn State University and leader of the group of researchers from Penn State and Virginia Commonwealth University. Its discovery in plants could be used to develop crop varieties with higher yields and greater drought resistance, in addition to helping to identify plant sources for new pharmaceuticals.
Like team members in a relay race, molecules in the G-protein signaling pathway, well known in human cells, swing into action one after another when activated by a hormone. However, the identities and roles of the signal relayers in the G-protein pathway in plants were essentially unknown before the current findings. Assmann and her fellow researchers did know that a molecule important in the G-protein-signaling pathway in human cells, the molecule S1P (sphingosine-1-phosphate), also exists in plants, but they did not know much about its origin and function in plant cells. "The questions we sought to answer were what is the enzyme in plants that produces S1P and does S1P cause the same kind of G-protein signaling cascade in plant cells as it does in mammals," Assmann says.
Barbara K. Kennedy | PennState University
What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals
23.08.2017 | American Chemical Society
Treating arthritis with algae
23.08.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
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,...
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...
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...
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...
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...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
23.08.2017 | Automotive Engineering
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences