Johns Hopkins researchers have uncovered a key step in the bodys regulation of melatonin, a major sleep-related chemical in the brain. In the advance online section of Nature Structural Biology, the research team reports finding the switch that causes destruction of the enzyme that makes melatonin -- no enzyme, no melatonin.
Melatonin levels are high at night and low during the day. Even at night, melatonin disappears after exposure to bright light, a response that likely contributes to its normal daily cycle, but plagues shift workers and jet setters by leading to sleeplessness. To help understand melatonins light-induced disappearance, the Hopkins researchers turned to the enzyme that makes it, a protein called AANAT.
One way cells turn proteins like AANAT on and off is by modifying them, attaching or removing small bits, such as phosphate groups, to particular spots along the proteins backbone. For AANAT, the key spot turns out to be building block number 31, the researchers have found.
Molecular Force Sensors
20.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Foster tadpoles trigger parental instinct in poison frogs
20.09.2017 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...
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