Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Primitive yeast yields secrets of human cholesterol and drug metabolism

22.02.2007
By first probing the way primitive yeast make cholesterol, a team of scientists has discovered a long-sought protein whose human counterpart controls cholesterol production and potentially drug metabolism.

The collaborative study by investigators at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Indiana University and Eli Lilly Co., was published in the February issue of Cell Metabolism.

“Dap1 controls the activity of a clinically important class of enzymes required for cholesterol synthesis and drug metabolism,” says Peter Espenshade, Ph.D., assistant professor of cell biology at Johns Hopkins. “We’re excited because although we originally identified this protein in yeast, humans not only have the same protein, but it works the same way.”

The search for Dap1 began with the hunt for factors that influence the actions of a large family of enzymes called cytochrome P450. These enzymes control many life-sustaining chemical reactions in humans and other animals.

... more about:
»Dap1 »Espenshade »P450 »cholesterol »metabolism

Happily, Espenshade says, yeast have only two P450 enzymes, and both play roles in making cholesterol, narrowing down the territory for their search and giving them a telltale marker (the cholesterol) to track.

Reasoning that whatever controls the P450s likely would be turned on and off at roughly the same time as the P450 enzymes themselves, the researchers found that Dap1 does just that in the yeast cell.

To figure out what Dap1 does, Espenshade and colleagues genetically altered yeast cells to lack Dap1. Those cells predictably were unable to make cholesterol and instead contained a build-up of cholesterol precursors.

The research team then tracked Dap1’s counterpart in humans by looking for similar proteins in a computer database and repeated their experiments in human kidney cells engineered to lack the human version of Dap1. As in yeast, the altered human cells accumulated cholesterol precursors and died because cholesterol is essential for cell survival.

To show that Dap1 directly works with P450s and not through some other biochemical steps, Espenshade’s team tested the ability of human Dap1 protein to bind to four of the 57 known human P450 enzymes, essentially challenging Dap1 to bind to P450s that perform totally different functions in different cells as a way to see how far-reaching its control might be.

Dap1 locked on to all four P450s, including one required for clearing half of all known drugs from the body, another involved in making bile and one required for making natural steroid hormones in the adrenal glands.

“Collectively, our experiments suggest that Dap1 acts as a common regulator of cytochrome P450s in mammals,” says Espenshade.

Because Dap1 affects one particular P450 responsible for drug metabolism, Espenshade suspects that genetic variations in the genetic blueprint coding for Dap1 may provide clues to how and why different people react differently to certain drugs.

“Understanding the molecular underpinnings of so-called pharmacogenetic variation will have a big impact on the future of medicine,” he says.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association and Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

Authors on the paper are Adam Hughes and Espenshade of Hopkins; David Powell and Andrew Link of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; Martin Bard of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; James Eckstein and Robert Barbuch of Eli Lilly and Company.

Audrey Huang | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cellmetabolism.org
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/cellbio/profiles/profdisplay.cfm?senduserID=177&sendpage=directory
http://www.jhmi.edu

Further reports about: Dap1 Espenshade P450 cholesterol metabolism

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

nachricht CWRU researchers find a chemical solution to shrink digital data storage
22.06.2017 | Case Western Reserve University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>