Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Molecular motor implicated in tissue remodeling

01.10.2004


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 body’s 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."


Goldberg and his colleagues Savees Saffarian, Ivan Collier, Barry Marmer and Elliot Elson found that MMP-1 operates as a molecular motor--a molecule that converts chemical energy into motion. "This is the only extracellular motor known," says Elson, Ph.D., coauthor and professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics.

The research team discovered that MMP-1 moves along a collagen filament with a net unidirectional motion. One-way motion indicates that energy is being utilized, so the team looked for an energy source.

While most molecules that act as motors are inside cells and get their energy from a ubiquitous high-energy molecule called ATP, the team found that MMP-1 gets its energy by breaking the molecular bonds in the collagen filament it is attached to. "In fact," Goldberg says, "with our model, a whole new principle emerges in which molecular motors in the extracellular matrix operate by extracting energy from the very track they move upon."

The researchers propose that the molecular motor contributes to restructuring the extracellular support matrix during tissue growth and development or wound repair or even during cancerous invasion of tissues. Because MMP-1 moves directionally, it can serve as a clutch, assisting cell locomotion along networks of collagen in tissues. Further, motion along the precisely aligned collagen filaments directs the proper development of individual tissue types.

The model of MMP-1 action revealed by Goldberg and his colleagues might help explain how the enzymes that digest collagen serve constructive purposes. "The enzymes aren’t loose and disorganized where they would just end up destroying the matrix," Goldberg states. "By mechanisms that we are exploring further, they create a relation between cells and the structures in the matrix. It’s a very elegant system."

Gwen Ericson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wustl.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related
17.08.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

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,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

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...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

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...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

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...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>