Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Giant cell reveals metabolic secrets

30.01.2012
Clarification of metabolite regulation and distribution in a large, freshwater algal cell illuminates important aspects of general cell metabolism
Chemical reactions within the cell produce intermediate and end products in the form of small molecules called metabolites. Using an approach called metabolomics, a research team led by Kazuki Saito of the RIKEN Plant Science Center, Yokohama and Tsuruoka, has elucidated the localization and dynamics of 125 metabolites within a single giant cell of the freshwater alga Chara australis1. The team’s findings provide important insights into the fundamental processes of cells in general.

Metabolites play important roles in the regulation of critical biological processes, such as growth, differentiation, and, in the case of so-called ‘secondary metabolites’, chemical defense. “Metabolomics is the systematic study of these unique chemical footprints, and involves identifying and characterizing the many metabolites found in a cell, tissue, organ or organism, as well as their production, distribution and dynamics,” explains Saito.

Because the enzymes involved in producing and converting different metabolites are often localized within subcellular structures called organelles, biologists generally assumed that metabolites are also highly compartmentalized within the cell, but none had demonstrated this comprehensively.
“Understanding the compartmentalization and dynamics of metabolites within single organelles represents an enormous technical challenge, not least because of the tiny size of these structures in most cells,” says Saito.

He and his colleagues therefore turned to C. australis as a model system (Fig. 1). This species has a particular cell type, called an internodal cell, which can grow to a length of around 20 centimeters. Because of their large size and volume, internodal cells are widely used to study various aspects of cell biology, including membrane physiology. The researchers purified single vacuoles, a type of organelle, from these cells. They then used a battery of sophisticated metabolomic techniques to determine the localization and dynamics of metabolites in the vacuole and other cellular fractions collectively known as the cytoplasm.

Focusing on phosphate compounds, Saito and colleagues detected 125 known metabolites, and showed that they fluctuated independently in the vacuole and cytoplasm under various light conditions. They therefore concluded that metabolites are spatially regulated within the cell, moving between the vacuole and the cytoplasm according to conditions. “Ours is the first study to confirm specific compartmentalization of comprehensive metabolites in a single vacuole from a single cell,” notes Saito.

Using a specialized microinjection technique, they researchers also observed metabolite transport across the membrane surrounding the vacuole. This suggested to them that the vacuolar membrane plays an important role in regulating transport of metabolites in and out of the vacuole.

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Metabolomic Function Research Group, RIKEN Plant Science Center

gro-pr | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.riken.jp
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Selectively Reactivating Nerve Cells to Retrieve a Memory
01.06.2020 | Universität Heidelberg

nachricht CeMM study reveals how a master regulator of gene transcription operates
01.06.2020 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

Im Focus: Rolling into the deep

Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Black nitrogen: Bayreuth researchers discover new high-pressure material and solve a puzzle of the periodic table

29.05.2020 | Materials Sciences

Argonne researchers create active material out of microscopic spinning particles

29.05.2020 | Materials Sciences

Smart windows that self-illuminate on rainy days

29.05.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>