Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein controls metabolism: U of T research

29.07.2005


Heme is key to protein’s work



University of Toronto researchers have gained new insight into how a specific protein may control circadian rhythms and metabolic processes, which has implications for treating cholesterol-related diseases.

U of T professor Henry Krause and his colleagues have identified heme, an iron compound, best known for its oxygen carrying capabilities in hemoglobin, as the molecule that allows the protein E75 to regulate a number of key developmental processes. In a paper published in the July 29 issue of Cell, the researchers use fruit flies to show that heme attaches itself to E75, allowing the protein to respond to a variety of cellular signals necessary for controlling systemic processes such as metabolism and circadian rhythms, the human body’s clock.


Since the human body contains a nuclear hormone receptor comparable to E75, the research is an important first step to understanding how people metabolize fat, how their circadian rhythms are regulated and how their bodies age. The researchers studied fruit flies, because they have many genes similar to those found in humans and they reproduce rapidly.

"The important role heme plays in the body’s smooth operation has been previously identified, but it was quite unexpected to find it binding to a member of the nuclear hormone receptor family of proteins," says Krause, a professor in the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research and the Department of Medical Genetics and Microbiology."

There are practical reasons for exploring the relationship between heme and E75, says Krause, whose lab purified the protein, then used mass spectrometry to analyze it. About 15 per cent of successful drugs on the market target nuclear hormone receptors like E75.

"In addition to finding out how E75 and its human counterpart control metabolic processes, and learning how to control these functions, it should also help us to discover the other hormones that control the rest of this nuclear hormone receptor family," says Krause. As they are identified, new drugs can be designed to control the many metabolic diseases, such as high cholesterol, associated with the malfunction of these proteins.

Other researchers involved in this study include U of T professor Aled Edwards, head of the Structural Genomics Consortium; U of T post-doctoral student Jeff Reinking, master’s degree holder Mandy Lam, doctoral students Keith Pardee and Heidi Sampson and post-doctoral fellow Ping Yang; researchers Shawn Williams and Wendy White from GlaxoSmithKline; and technician Suya Liu and Professor Gilles Lajoie from the University of Western Ontario.

Henry Krause | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst
25.04.2017 | Brown University

nachricht Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017
25.04.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>