Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Water channels in the body help cells remain in balance

10.10.2011
Water channels exist not only in nature – microscopical water channels are also present in the cells of the body, where they ensure that water can be transported through the protective surface of the cell.

Scientists at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have discovered that one type of the body’s water channels can be modified such that it becomes more stable , which may be significant in the treatment of several diseases.

“It’s important to understand how the water channels, which are known as ‘aquaporins’, in the body work, since they control many of the processes in our cells and tissues. They also determine what is to be transported into and out of the cell, and they are thus highly significant in the development of new treatments for various diseases, such as eczema, cerebral oedema, obesity and cancer”, says Kristina Hedfalk of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Gothenburg.

Aquaporins are vital
There are 13 different types of aquaporins in the human body. One of these, AQP2, is found in the kidney where it is responsible for a large-volume recirculation of water from the primary urine every day. Without this, we would urinate nearly 10 litres every day. Another variant, AQP4, is found in the brain where it contributes to regulation of the osmotic pressure in the sensitive brain tissue. This regulation is particularly important in those who are affected by cerebral oedema, which is a life-threatening condition that can follow a blow to the head or a stroke.

The research group, which consists of Fredrik Öberg, Jennie Sjöhamn, Gerhard Fischer, Andreas Moberg, Anders Pedersen, Richard Neutze and Kristina Hedfalk, describes their studies of one of the most recently discovered aquaporins in an article in the scientific journal The Journal of Biological Chemistry. This aquaporin, AQP10, is preferentially found in the intestine, and is particularly interesting since it transports both water and sugar alcohols.

Carbohydrates stabilise the water channel
“AQP10 differs from other aquaporins by having a large carbohydrate structure of branched sugar molecules, somewhat similar to a tree, attached on its outer surface. This makes it significantly more stable. This may be because aquaporins in the intestine need to be particularly stable. What we have shown is that AQP10 retains its transport ability, even if the carbohydrate structure is removed.”

The article Glycosylation Increases the Thermostability of Human Aquaporin 10 Protein has been published in the September edition of The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Link to the article:
http://www.jbc.org/content/286/36/31915.full?sid=5e4d47ac-176e-4e10-946b-8e1a9c02884e
Bibliographic data:
Journal:September 9, 2011 The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286, 31915-31923.
Authors: Fredrik Öberg, Jennie Sjöhamn, Gerhard Fischer, Andreas Moberg, Anders Pedersen, Richard Neutze, Kristina Hedfalk

Title: Glycosylation Increases the Thermostability of Human Aquaporin 10 Protein

For more information, please contact: Kristina Hedfalk
Telephone: 
+46-31-786 3923
Email: kristina.hedfalk@chem.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled
24.04.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

nachricht Scientists generate an atlas of the human genome using stem cells
24.04.2018 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled

24.04.2018 | Life Sciences

Scientists create innovative new 'green' concrete using graphene

24.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

24.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>