A well-known enzyme present in the skin and other tissues turns out to be a molecule-sized motor that extracts its fuel from the road it runs on, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Their discovery appears in the Oct. 1 issue of Science.
The enzyme, MMP-1, is a member of a group of enzymes that breaks down collagen, a fibrous substance that constitutes the foundation of the extracellular matrix that supports the cells in the bodys tissues.
"By digesting collagen, enzymes such as MMP-1 initiate tissue remodeling, which can have a variety of purposes from organ development to tissue repair to metastatic invasion of tumors," says senior author Gregory Goldberg, Ph.D., professor of dermatology and of biochemistry and molecular biophysics. "Because they participate in all basic tissue metabolism, we want to understand how they function."
Gwen Ericson | EurekAlert!
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Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
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