Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nano-switches in the cell

02.02.2018

A team with researchers from Freiburg discovered a new mechanism for the regulation of protein synthesis

Mitochondria, best known for their role as cellular power plants, perform numerous vital tasks in the cell. During cell respiration, reactive oxygen species can be formed in mitochondria. If these are present in excess, their high reactivity leads to irreparable damage to important cellular components.


3D-structure of mitochondria in a budding yeast cell. Labeling with a green fluorescent protein shows that mitochondria form a tight tubular network in the cell.

Source: Stefan Jakobs

This so-called oxidative stress is assumed to play a causal role in many diseases and in ageing processes. In low concentrations, however, reactive oxygen species can also act as important second messengers in the cell. Here, specific, so-called redox-active thiols in distinct proteins are modified. This type of oxidative modification is reversible and, like a nano-switch, can regulate the function of a protein.

A German-Polish research team led by Prof. Dr. Bettina Warscheid from the University of Freiburg and Prof. Dr. Agnieszka Chacinska from the Centre of New Technologies in Warsaw/Poland has discovered a new mechanism that enables mitochondria with impaired redox balance to regulate the synthesis of new proteins in the cytoplasm. The mitochondria use reactive oxygen species as signal to slow down the cellular protein synthesis machinery. The study was published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Nature Communications".

Using quantitative mass spectrometry, Dr. Ida Suppanz from Warscheid's research group first determined the redox state of thiols in thousands of proteins of the baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. She discovered so far unknown redox-active thiols in components of the ribosomes at which new proteins are synthesized.

Dr. Ulrike Topf from Chacinska’s group observed that increased levels of reactive oxygen species inhibit protein synthesis. Using biochemical and cell biological methods, she showed that damaged mitochondria can signal their metabolic state to the protein synthesis machinery via reactive oxygen species and, thereby, slow down cellular protein synthesis.

It is assumed that the temporary reduction of the protein synthesis rate under oxidative stress has a positive effect on the survival of the cells as it is believed to help to restore cellular homeostasis. This also prevents the cell from synthesizing proteins that cannot be taken up by damaged mitochondria, which, as a consequence, accumulate in the cytoplasm and thus need to be degraded. Researches of Warscheid’s and Chacinska’s teams explained how the cell reacts to such a protein accumulation in 2015 in the journal "Nature" (press release: www.pr.uni-freiburg.de/pm-en/2015/pm.2015-08-13.119-en).

Furthermore, the researchers were able to show that this newly discovered regulatory mechanism does not only exist in yeast, but also in human cells. Knowledge on how dysfunctional mitochondria communicate with other cellular components can help to elucidate the mechanisms of age-related and neurodegenerative diseases in the future.

Bettina Warscheid is head of the department of Biochemistry - Functional Proteomics, Institute of Biology II, and member of the Excellence Cluster BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies at the University of Freiburg. Ida Suppanz is a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Bettina Warscheid.

Original publication:
Ulrike Topf*, Ida Suppanz*, Lukasz Samluk, Lidia Wrobel, Alexander Böser, Paulina Sakowska, Bettina Knapp, Martyna K. Pietrzyk, Agnieszka Chacinska# & Bettina Warscheid#. Quantitative proteomics identifies redox switches for global translation modulation by mitochondrially produced reactive oxygen species (2018). Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-02694-8. (*#These authors contributed equally.)

Kontakt:
Prof. Dr. Bettina Warscheid
Institut für Biologie II
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-2690
E-Mail: bettina.warscheid@biologie.uni-freiburg.de

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.pr.uni-freiburg.de/pm-en/press-releases-2018/nano-switches-in-the-ce...

Rudolf-Werner Dreier | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Tracing the evolution of vision
23.08.2019 | University of Göttingen

nachricht Caffeine does not influence stingless bees
23.08.2019 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Hamburg and Kiel researchers observe spontaneous occurrence of skyrmions in atomically thin cobalt films

Since their experimental discovery, magnetic skyrmions - tiny magnetic knots - have moved into the focus of research. Scientists from Hamburg and Kiel have now been able to show that individual magnetic skyrmions with a diameter of only a few nanometres can be stabilised in magnetic metal films even without an external magnetic field. They report on their discovery in the journal Nature Communications.

The existence of magnetic skyrmions as particle-like objects was predicted 30 years ago by theoretical physicists, but could only be proven experimentally in...

Im Focus: Physicists create world's smallest engine

Theoretical physicists at Trinity College Dublin are among an international collaboration that has built the world's smallest engine - which, as a single calcium ion, is approximately ten billion times smaller than a car engine.

Work performed by Professor John Goold's QuSys group in Trinity's School of Physics describes the science behind this tiny motor.

Im Focus: Quantum computers to become portable

Together with the University of Innsbruck, the ETH Zurich and Interactive Fully Electrical Vehicles SRL, Infineon Austria is researching specific questions on the commercial use of quantum computers. With new innovations in design and manufacturing, the partners from universities and industry want to develop affordable components for quantum computers.

Ion traps have proven to be a very successful technology for the control and manipulation of quantum particles. Today, they form the heart of the first...

Im Focus: Towards an 'orrery' for quantum gauge theory

Experimental progress towards engineering quantized gauge fields coupled to ultracold matter promises a versatile platform to tackle problems ranging from condensed-matter to high-energy physics

The interaction between fields and matter is a recurring theme throughout physics. Classical cases such as the trajectories of one celestial body moving in the...

Im Focus: A miniature stretchable pump for the next generation of soft robots

Soft robots have a distinct advantage over their rigid forebears: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber or other stretchable polymers, they are ideal for use in rehabilitation exoskeletons and robotic clothing. Soft bio-inspired robots could one day be deployed to explore remote or dangerous environments.

Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines' moving parts. Because they are connected to these bulky pumps by tubes,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The power of thought – the key to success: CYBATHLON BCI Series 2019

16.08.2019 | Event News

4th Hybrid Materials and Structures 2020 28 - 29 April 2020, Karlsruhe, Germany

14.08.2019 | Event News

What will the digital city of the future look like? City Science Summit on 1st and 2nd October 2019 in Hamburg

12.08.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making small intestine endoscopy faster with a pill-sized high-tech camera

23.08.2019 | Medical Engineering

More reliable operation offshore wind farms

23.08.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tracing the evolution of vision

23.08.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>