About 2 million people die of malaria every year, of which more than a million are children in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria is caused by a protozoan parasite belonging to the genus Plasmodium, and Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the most severe form of malaria.
Due to the increasing incidence of resistance to existing drugs, there is a growing need to discover new and more effective drugs against malaria. In a new study publishing in PLoS Computational Biology on September 14, 2007, Dr. Tatu and colleagues from the Indian Institute of Science have constructed a chaperone interaction network for the parasite which provides, for the first time, a rational basis for the anti-malarial effect of known drugs and highlights new proteins that can potentially be used in the fight against malaria.
Recent reports from several labs point to a critical role played by a group of proteins termed molecular chaperones. These chaperones participate in the maintenance and growth of cells and are implicated in parasite survival and growth. Although a vast body of information is available regarding individual chaperones, few studies have attempted a systems level analysis of chaperone function. The researchers’ systems-level approach provides information on 95 different chaperones in the parasite and also provides insights into their business partners and cellular processes that they might regulate.
Analysis of the network reveals the broad range of functions regulated by chaperones. The network predicts involvement of chaperones in chromatin remodeling, protein trafficking, and cytoadherence. Importantly, it allows making predictions regarding the functions of hypothetical proteins based on their interactions. Analysis of the network provides a rational basis for the anti-malarial activity of geldanamycin, a well-known Hsp90 inhibitor, and provides a theoretical basis for further experiments designed toward understanding the involvement of this important class of molecules in parasite biology.
Andrew Hyde | alfa
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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