Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

McGill Scientists publish detailed picture of how nutrients and other molecules get into cells

10.03.2004


Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and the Montreal Proteomics Network at McGill University have published the most complete picture to date of the components of the molecular machinery that controls the entry of nutrients and other molecules into cells. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS), Dr. Peter McPherson and colleagues used proteomics, the large-scale study of proteins, to identify the protein complement of clathrin-coated vesicles. These vesicles are the vehicles by which cells are able to take up nutrients, such as cholesterol, from their environment. Defects in this uptake process have profound repercussions on cellular function and human health. For example, genetic diseases that lead to deficiencies in cholesterol uptake cause elevations in plasma cholesterol levels and early-onset coronary atherosclerosis. In the brain, problems in the uptake process involving clathrin-coated vesicles can disrupt the transmission of signals between nerve cells. This can lead to a number of disorders including defects in the ability to form new memories.

“Proteins are the workhorses in our cells,” explained Dr. McPherson, Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, and Anatomy and Cell Biology at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) at McGill University. “Increasingly, we are learning that proteins don’t work in isolation, but function in large arrays that form protein machines. Proteomics is exciting because it allows us to breakdown this complex machine into its component parts. We can then figure out how it is assembled, how the proteins interact with one another, and what goes wrong in disease.

“The study from Dr. McPherson and his colleagues is fundamental to our understanding of the cellular uptake process because it provides a comprehensive molecular inventory of the clathrin-coated vesicle. Its results have broad implications for a variety of fields in biology and medicine,” said Dr. Pietro De Camilli, Professor of Cell Biology, Yale University School of Medicine and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute.



Dr. McPherson together with postdoctoral fellow, Dr. François Blondeau and other colleagues identified 209 proteins. “About half of the proteins we identified are already known to be associated with clathrin-coated vesicles, validating our approach,” said Dr. Blondeau. “The rest are novel proteins or proteins with known function that were not previously known to be involved in this process. This identification allows us to hypothesize on how these proteins function in this essential activity of the cells.”

“Dr. McPherson’s work is a great example of the unique “Cell Map” approach that the Montreal Proteomics Network has taken to perform proteomics experimentation”, said Dr. John Bergeron, Director of the Montreal Proteomics Network. “This work allows us to build a map of the location and function of the proteins in the cell, creating a picture of interacting complexes and networks. Ultimately this map will provide a guide to understanding a large number of human diseases.”

In June 2000 researchers announced the first draft version of the human genome sequence. This was important because it spelled out all of the genes that define humans and gave the instructions for making the proteins. Proteins do the functional work in the cell and are much more complex than DNA. The roughly 30,000 human genes lead to more than three hundred thousand different proteins. The ability to rapidly and globally detect proteins represents the next step in biology. Revolutions in technology of mass spectrometry which were honoured by the 2002 Nobel Prize for chemistry, have paved the way for proteomics.

This research was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Valorisation Recherche Quebec, Genome Quebec (Montreal Proteomics Network) and Genome Canada and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Sandra McPherson | McGill University
Further information:
http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/announce/mcphersonpnas_e.htm
http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/0308186101v1.pdf

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled
24.04.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

nachricht Scientists generate an atlas of the human genome using stem cells
24.04.2018 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled

24.04.2018 | Life Sciences

Scientists create innovative new 'green' concrete using graphene

24.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

24.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>