Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Carnegie Mellon researchers discover new cell properties

30.06.2006
Researchers discover new cell structures

Carnegie Mellon University researchers Kris Noel Dahl and Mohammad F. Islam have made a new breakthrough for children suffering from an extremely rare disease that accelerates the aging process by about seven times the normal rate.

Dahl, an assistant professor of chemical and biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon, said her work with researchers at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the John Hopkins University School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania reveals that children suffering from Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS) have an excessively stiff shell of proteins.

The nucleus in all three trillion cells of the human body contains the DNA genome, which is wrapped with a stiff protein shell called the nuclear lamina. Children with HGPS have a mutation in one of the proteins of the lamina shell. For years, experts have thought this mutation made their nuclei much softer and more likely to be ruptured when cells were under stress.

But in a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Journal article to be published this month, Dahl and her colleagues show that the lamina shell in HGPS patients is stiffer than normal. However, stiffer isn't necessarily better. The stiffer lamina did protect the HGPS nucleus from some forces, but under excessive force the HGPS lamina was more brittle and eventually fractured.

"The mutant HGPS lamina is like an egg shell that cracks when excessive pressure or force is exerted against it," Dahl said. "By contrast, normal lamina resembles the rubbery outer shell of a racquetball, which does not break under stress or force but can assume its original shape even after hard play."

The researchers also think that the stiffer lamina in HGPS patients may be unable to communicate the proper biological signals to the DNA inside the nucleus to help the cell grow, which contributes to the disease.

Islam, an assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science and engineering, says that the increased stiffness of the lamina may be caused by mutant proteins self-organizing into ordered structures within the HGPS lamina.

"This could make the lamina stiffer and cause fractures in the nuclei," Islam said. The healthy lamina remains disordered and therefore less rigid.

"Once we understand what causes the lamina to stiffen, we can try to reverse or stop the problem," Dahl said. "We think this stiffening mechanism happens over time with increased protein concentration, so we need to determine the tipping point that causes real problems."

When people grow old, the walls of the cell nuclei exhibit similar problems to the HGPS nuclei, like losing their round shape and perkiness. "Our NIH collaborators have also found that the normal aged nuclei show the same structural changes as HGPS," Dahl said.

Chriss Swaney | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cmu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Warming ponds could accelerate climate change
21.02.2017 | University of Exeter

nachricht An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever
21.02.2017 | University of Utah

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>