Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Molecular mechanism provides intra-cellular traffic signal

20.10.2006
City planners could learn a lesson or two from tiny cells on how to maximize traffic flow.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have found that intra-cellular trafficking is tightly coordinated for maximum flow through cellular compartments -- much as vehicles on a crowded road are allowed to pass quickly through a succession of green traffic lights.

The molecular mechanism that underlies this coordination is reported by lead researcher Nava Segev, UIC professor of biological sciences, in the November issue of Nature Cell Biology.

While the finding was made using yeast cells, intra-cellular mechanisms discovered in yeast almost invariably correspond to processes in mammalian cells, including humans, and the mechanism Segev described may find applicability in the biomedical field.

... more about:
»Golgi »Segev »TRAPP »Ypt »compartment »intra-cellular

"Every system in our body depends on intra-cellular trafficking, because anything that goes from the inside of a cell to the outside, or from outside to inside, uses this process," Segev said. "Malfunctioning of this pathway can cause a variety of human diseases. For example, problems in insulin secretion or presentation of insulin-receptors on the cell membrane result in diabetes. Defects in growth factor secretion and presentation of their receptors on cells result in cancer. Defects in neurotransmitter release or internalization result in brain disorders."

A special set of proteins is responsible for the coordination. Molecular switches that go by the letters Ypt allow membrane-enclosed vesicles to pass in and out of cellular compartments. Activator proteins flip the switches on. One activator protein, called TRAPP, coordinates two Ypt switches for quick entrance and subsequent exit from a central cellular compartment known as the Golgi apparatus.

"The Golgi is a central station in all cells, through which all intra-cellular traffic passes," Segev explained.

Specific subunits of TRAPP previously identified by the UIC researchers were found to be the key to coordinated switching and traffic flow through the Golgi. They have now shown that components of TRAPP act in sequence to direct the flow. One form of TRAPP turns on the first Ypt for entry into the Golgi, while at the other end of the Golgi, two subunits join TRAPP to activate the Ypt required for exit from the Golgi, Segev said.

Segev said the mechanism that her lab identified must now be shown to exist in mammalian cells. Her earlier discovery of the Ypt molecular switches in yeast and the subsequent finding of their homologues in mammalian cells, together with the fact that TRAPP is conserved in evolution from yeast to man, lead her to believe the entire coordinated switching mechanism is universal.

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

Further reports about: Golgi Segev TRAPP Ypt compartment intra-cellular

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Closing in on advanced prostate cancer
13.12.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

nachricht Visualizing single molecules in whole cells with a new spin
13.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A whole-body approach to understanding chemosensory cells

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cellular Self-Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease

13.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>