Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Small worm yields big clue on muscle receptor action

27.07.2005


Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have identified an elusive subunit of a neurotransmitter receptor found in both humans and the much-studied laboratory nematode C. elegans which may open new pathways of research on muscle function.



The neurotransmitter acetylcholine binds to two different nicotinic receptors at the nematode’s neuromuscular junctions, causing them to contract. Previously, researchers knew the subunit composition only of the levamisole-sensitive acetylcholine receptors. In the second, levamisole-insensitive acetylcholine receptors, a subunit called acetylcholine receptor 16, or ACR-16, has now been identified as necessary for this receptor’s contribution to muscle contraction.

Janet Richmond, assistant professor of biological sciences at UIC, along with graduate students Denis Touroutine and Anna Burdina, reported the findings in the July 22 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The research also drew on bioinformatic data provided by David Miller, associate professor of cell and developmental biology at Vanderbilt University, and work by his graduate students Rebecca Fox and Stephen Von Stetina.


Richmond has developed a preparation for cutting open the microscopic nematode to record muscle responses when acetylcholine is applied. Using this preparation, Richmond was still getting muscle contraction when acetylcholine was applied to worms lacking any of five receptor subunits known to be sensitive to levamisole, a chemical that poisons nematodes. Two additional receptor subunits -- ACR-16 and ACR-8 -- identified using Vanderbilt’s data, were found to be likely candidates for the remaining acetylcholine response. ACR-16 was singled out as the key subunit.

"We’ve shown the ACR-16-containing receptor is present in muscle and contributes hugely to the synaptic current," said Richmond.

"Now we can tag this receptor, see if it’s localized at the synapse and start to mutagenize animals to figure out what makes that receptor stay or make it to the synapse," she added.

Richmond said the finding might have direct relevance to humans because the ACR-16 receptor is very similar to the alpha-7 nicotinic receptor in the human brain.

Paul Francuch | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uic.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht The Nagoya Protocol Creates Disadvantages for Many Countries when Applied to Microorganisms
05.12.2016 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>