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!
Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences