Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tidy motor protein folds away when the job is done

04.10.2006
A discovery by University of Leeds researchers has revealed how a motor protein shuts itself down and becomes compact when it has no cargo to carry. It then goes in search of more cargo, perhaps carried by other passing proteins.

The discovery is significant, because the protein, called myosin 5, is part of a large family of motor proteins involved in a wide range of important bodily processes, including hearing, muscle contraction, digestion and neural transmission – the delivery of messages from the brain to different parts of the body.

“Some fatal seizures can be caused by a breakdown in myosin 5 activity,” says Dr Peter Knight of the Leeds research team. “By increasing our understanding of the process, we can start to address the problems caused when it doesn’t work. Of course there are still many questions that need answering, but we now have a model on which to base potential bio-nanotechnology molecular systems that could replicate the process to deliver molecules of our choosing – such as targeted drug therapies – to specific sites.”

The new discovery builds on the existing work of the Molecular Contractility Group of the University’s Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, who together with colleagues from the National Institutes of Health in the US, first showed how myosin 5 ‘walks’ to its destination.

... more about:
»Myosin »Protein

Myosin 5 molecules have two elongated heads attached to one end of a tail. Each head comprises a motor domain and a lever. At the other end of the tail is a pair of cargo-binding domains. In cells, myosin 5 is able to transport cargo because the two motor domains bind alternately to a filament called F-actin and take rapid strides along it by tilting the levers, like a pair of legs walking.

However, the filament it travels on is a one-way track, so myosin can only travel in one direction on its own. But once the cargo has been delivered – whether it is neurotransmitter chemicals to make a muscle contract or a package of pigments for a strand of hair – until now no-one knew what happened next.

Dr Kavitha Thirumurugan of the Leeds team commented: “It now seems that once its job is completed, myosin 5 folds up and the cargo binding domain does double duty by shutting down the motor, preventing myosin 5 from aimlessly wandering around. How it finds its next cargo we don’t yet know, but maybe it is picked up and carried there by proteins travelling in the other direction to start the cycle again. It’s a bit like a clockwork train network.”

Abigail Chard | alfa
Further information:
http://www.fbs.leeds.ac.uk

Further reports about: Myosin Protein

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

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

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>