When Dr. Michael Schneider, professor of medicine, molecular & cellular biology, and molecular physiology & biophysics at BCM, and his colleagues studied infant mice that lacked this gene in their heart muscle cells, "We found that the hearts grew normally. This was surprising, in view of some postulated functions of MAT1. But when the animals reached five weeks of age, they began to succumb to catastrophic heart failure, and all of them were dead by two months."
Using "gene chip" technology, the researchers looked for abnormal patterns of gene expression in hearts from which the MAT1 gene was deleted. They found that genes controlling energy production in cells were particularly affected and that the cells had correspondingly low levels of the proteins required for energy production. The mitochondria -- the cell's energy factories -- were defective.
Further research showed that a particular protein called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-1 coactivator, or PGC-1, which is a known master regulator of energy production by cells, did not function in cells that lacked MAT1. Even when the scientists artificially increased the amount of PGC-1 in the cells, its function was decreased if there was no MAT1.
Ultimately, the investigators proved that MAT1 binds to PGC-1 and forms a physical complex with it, providing a direct biochemical explanation for the ability of MAT1 to serve as an essential partner to PGC-1, facilitating its role in regulating cell metabolism.
In fact, two forms of PGC-1 exist — alpha and beta — both of which have been reported by other groups to be vital to the heart. Both forms of PGC-1 were shown by Schneider's team to depend highly on MAT1 and to turn on the ordinarily responsive genes for energy production in heart tissue.
"One of the problems in failing hearts is that energy production is deficient," said Schneider. "Drugs that act on the PPARs (peroxisome proliferator activated receptors) and other nuclear receptors to promote better metabolism are a very active area of study. Finding an essential partner of PGC-1 alpha and beta that enables them to switch genes on via these receptors should be helpful in that kind of work."
Ross Tomlin | EurekAlert!
Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
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...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
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,...
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...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences