Amongst other applications, these can be used to produce oral vaccines which, upon being ingested, will be able to immunise against diseases. Moreover, this discovery opens the door to the design of protein-manufacturing plants of great interest therapeutically and in the development of vaccine antigens.
This discovery, published in the latest issue of The Plant Cell, contributes, moreover, to refuting one of the current scientific dogmas regarding the mechanisms of protein transportation in plant cells.
The research was carried out by a team from the Institute of Agrobiotechnology and Natural Resources (a centre jointly run by the CSIC, the Public University of Navarre and the Government of Navarre), made up of Javier Pozueta, Francisco José Muñoz and Edurne Baroja. These scientists have been aided by a research team from Niigata University (Japan).
Specifically, the study describes a new route for the traffic of proteins from the reticular/Golgi system where there are glycosylates, towards the chloroplasts of the plant cell. Some of these glycosylated recombinant proteins have significant antigenic power of great pharmaceutical interest.
Conventional biotechnological methods enable the cells to accumulate very limited quantities of glycosylate recombinant proteins. The chloroplast is a cell organ with great capacity for storing proteins. However, it is incapable of producing glycosylate proteins.
The newly discovered route connects the cell organ where the proteins are glycosylated, the reticulum, with the chloroplasts. This discovery signifies the first step in the development of plants and algae that accumulate in their chloroplasts large amounts of glycosylate recombinant proteins with significant antigenic power.
The new route discovered by the CSIC team refutes one of the dogmas regarding this type of protein. Nevertheless, Pozueta reveals that the starting point for this research was a chance discovery. The team had been investigating the metabolism of starch, a substance that is generated in the chloroplast, when they came across an unexpected type of protein for this type of cell organ.
They found that these proteins resisted high temperatures and withstood extreme conditions, characteristics of glycosylate proteins. The discovery was unexpected because the literature written to date does not contemplate the presence of this type of protein in the chloroplast.
Once the presence of this type of protein in the chloroplast was ascertained, the scientists asked themselves if it were the cell organ itself that was glycosylating. This focus gave rise to finding a new route of traffic between the reticulum and the chloroplast. Up to now it has been argued that the endoplasmic reticulum was connected to other parts of the cell such as the Golgi apparatus and the plasmatic membrane, etcetera, but not to the chloroplast.
Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden
The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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