Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Insights into the Control of Cellular Protein Production

11.01.2010
Researchers of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Germany, have gained new insights into the control of cellular protein production.

Experimental analysis of genetically modified mice revealed that an evolutionary conserved regulatory mechanism of protein production plays an important role in highly developed mammals.

The mouse-model findings of Dr. Klaus Wethmar, Professor Achim Leutz and colleagues could contribute to the development of new therapies and drugs to combat diseases such as cancer. (Genes & Development, doi: 10.1101/gad.557910).*

Proteins are the building blocks of every living cell. The blueprints of the proteins are encoded in the DNA of genes. These blueprints are first transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA), which then serve as a template for protein production. Some mRNAs contain short upstream open reading frames (uORFs), which control protein production depending on the respective cell physiology. Such regulatory uORFs occur in all organisms from yeast to humans. They are predominantly prevalent in the mRNAs of key regulatory proteins involved in cell proliferation and differentiation as well as cell metabolism and cellular stress management.

In their studies on a mouse model, MDC researchers led by Professor Leutz succeeded for the first time in detecting and measuring the physiological relevance of an uORF conserved in all vertebrates including humans. They discovered that mice deficient in the uORF of an important regulatory protein showed disturbed liver regeneration and impaired bone growth. Based on these findings, together with the widespread prevalence of uORFs in numerous other mRNAs, the MDC researchers suggest that evolutionary conserved uORFs may have comprehensive regulatory functions in the living organism.

The MDC scientists suspect that regulation of protein production by uORFs is associated with many diseases, in particular cancer diseases, since for example the transcripts of growth factors or oncogenes often contain uORFs. "Currently, no drugs exist which specifically target the control of protein production by uORFs," Professor Leutz explained. "However, since the regulatory function of uORFs is highly relevant, it would be reasonable to screen for drugs which can influence the function of uORFs."

*C/EBPbeta?uORF mice - a genetic model for uORF-mediated translational control in mammals
Klaus Wethmar1,2, Valérie Bégay1,3, Jeske J. Smink1,3, Katrin Zaragoza1,3, Volker Wiesenthal1,4, Bernd Dörken2, Cornelis F. Calkhoven5 and Achim Leutz1,6,7
1) Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Robert Rössle Str. 10, D-13092 Berlin, Germany.
2) Charité, Campus Virchow Klinikum, University Medicine Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, D-13353 Berlin, Germany.
3) These authors contributed equally to this study and are listed in alphabetical order.
4) Current address: Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V., Heinrich-Konen-Str. 1, 53227 Bonn, Germany.
5) Leibniz Institute for Age Research - Fritz Lipmann Institute, Beutenbergstr. 11, D-07745 Jena, Germany.
6) Department of Biology, Humboldt-University, Invalidenstr. 43, D-10115 Berlin, Germany.

7) Corresponding author

Barbara Bachtler
Press and Public Affairs
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
Robert-Rössle-Straße 10; 13125 Berlin; Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 96
Fax: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 33
e-mail: presse@mdc-berlin.de

Barbara Bachtler | Max-Delbrück-Centrum
Further information:
http://www.mdc-berlin.de/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates
20.08.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Metamolds: Molding a mold

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

20.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>