Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


The beginning of the end of flagella


Protein discovery in Chlamydomonas

A new protein discovery sheds light on how chemical information is transported within cells. A group of researchers, which includes Dartmouth Professor of Biological Sciences Roger Sloboda, have found the protein EB1 in Chlamydomonas, a single-celled organism commonly used to study cell biology. Previous research has implicated EB1 in the progression of many colon cancers.

Published in the November 11 edition of the journal Current Biology, the research examined the chemical motors that power events in flagella, antenna-like structures on some cells. Specifically, the research focused on intraflagellar transport (IFT), the process where proteins required for flagellar growth and maintenance move within the flagella. The discovery of the protein EB1 at the tip of the flagella on Chlamydomonas furthers investigations into the role the protein plays in flagellar function and perhaps in regulating IFT itself.

"Particles move out to the tip of the flagella, turn around, and then move back to the base," says Sloboda, who conducted this research in Joel Rosenbaum’s laboratory at Yale University while on sabbatical last year. "The only change in speed or direction occurs when the particles reach the tip. Now we think EB1 might play a role in controlling the molecular transport system responsible for IFT when the particles reach the tip. This finding will help us get a handle on what’s going on at the tip of the flagellum."

The flagella beat rhythmically, moving the organism, and are made of nine double strands of microtubules and a central pair. According to Sloboda, similar IFT phenomena also take place in rod and cone cells of the human retina, in human kidney cells, and in nerve cells.

To determine where EB1 occurs in Chlamydomonas cells, the researchers cloned and sequenced the protein to make antibodies specific for EB1. The researchers found that the antibodies bound to the flagella tips, indicating that EB1 stays at the tip, and does not move along the length of the flagella.

"This unexpected observation led to the paper being featured on the cover of the journal," says Sloboda. "It was a great result, because now we know more about the structure of the flagellar tip due to the presence of EB1. Using EB1 as bait, we can move on to fish out other proteins that associate with EB1 and learn how together these proteins are involved in tip structure and function and the process of IFT. Hopefully, our work will inform others working on colon cancer, kidney disease, vision, and central nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s diseases."

The other authors on the paper include Lotte Pedersen, a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University; Stefan Geimer, then a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University and now at the Institut Universität zu Köln in Cologne, Germany; and Joel Rosenbaum, Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale University.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, a fellowship from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, and the Ira Allen Eastman (Class of 1829) Professorship at Dartmouth, which was established in 1910 through a gift to the College by his widow, Jane Eastman.

Sue Knapp | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microbe hunters discover long-sought-after iron-munching microbe
24.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für marine Mikrobiologie

nachricht Seeking balanced networks: how neurons adjust their proteins during homeostatic scaling.
24.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Seeking balanced networks: how neurons adjust their proteins during homeostatic scaling.

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

More VideoLinks >>>