The group, from the Jules Stein Eye Institute and UCLA Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, focused on áB-Crystallin, a small heat shock protein. Heat shock proteins are a class of functionally-related proteins involved in the folding and unfolding of other proteins. Their expression is increased when cells are exposed to taxing environmental conditions, such as infection, inflammation, exercise, exposure to toxins and other stressors.
áB-Crystallin may be associated with certain cancers and could be developed into a biomarker to monitor for diseases such as multiple sclerosis, age-related macular degeneration, heart muscle degeneration and clouding of the eye lens. Any discoveries about how this protein is regulated and its molecular biology may reveal potential targets for novel therapies, said study first author Zhe Jing, a research associate in UCLA Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.
“If you use a certain cell type, this protein can be induced when the cells are stressed, but that doesn’t happen in a different cell type,” said Jing. “This novel finding does conflict with what has been thought, that this protein could be induced in any cell type.”
The findings of this two-year study are published in the most recent issue of the journal Cell Stress and Chaperones, a peer-reviewed journal in the fields of cell stress response.
The UCLA team did the study using four cell lines – two epithelial cells lines and two fibroblast cells lines. They found that the protein cannot be induced by stress in epithelial cells, in which 80 percent of cancers arise. It can, however, be induced in the fibroblasts that make up muscle tissue.
The significant finding in this investigation is that, in certain cell types, only one specific heat shock factor controls the expression of áB-Crystallin. For example, in the epithelial cell lines, it is heat shock factor 4 (HSF4), while a different heat shock factor, (HSF1), plays this role in the fibroblast cells lines.
In the past, the data has indicated that a heat shock factor could control the expression of áB-Crystallin randomly and equally. However, Jing’s discovery overrides this rule. His findings strongly suggest the “preference” of the áB-Crystallin to heat shock factors in certain cells may be correlated with its versatility to various diseases.
“Considering the multiple roles of áB-Crystallin in so many diseases, the access of the HSF1 and HSF4 to the áB-Crystallin gene dictated by the certain cell type may be what is helping to cause certain diseases,” Jing said. “If we can uncover the cascade of events that result in disease, we may be able to come up with strategies to block or interrupt that cascade.”
Going forward, Jing and the research team will validate what they found in this study by examining single cells, which provides a greater challenge but may lead to further discoveries.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Kim Irwin | Newswise
Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Machine Engineering
17.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy