Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researcher discovers new motor protein mechanism linked to heart disease and strokes

24.07.2006
Cardiomyopathy is an insidious disease which often strikes without warning and can lead to heart failure and eventual death. Although the disease can be traced to conditions such as high blood pressure, heart valve or arterial diseases and congenital heart defects, it is also caused by viral infections in the bloodstream.

In a paper to be published in the July issue of the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, a Rutgers-Newark researcher and his coworkers reveal that they have identified a possible mechanism used by an important motor protein which acts as a catalyst that enables bacteria outside the human body to travel through the blood stream and infect organs such as the heart.

The findings were published by Rutgers-Newark Chemistry Assistant Professor Charalampos Kalodimos and his coworkers, in the article, "Disorder-order folding transitions underlie catalysis in the helicase motor of SecA." Identifying the way this motor protein works is significant because it may lead to the development of new pharmacological therapies which can target and kill the bacteria to prevent or minimize damage to the heart muscle. The results follow nearly two years of research funded by a $300,000 American Heart Association (AHA) grant. The AHA agreed to support Kalodimos's research because he is focusing on specific bacteria that cause cardiovascular diseases in both adults and children.

Using high-resolution NMR Spectroscopy technology, Kalodimos identified the mechanism of function of motor protein SecA, which uses chemical energy and converts it into mechanical energy. SecA is present only in bacteria and is not found in humans. SecA uses mechanical energy to secrete toxins and other harmful proteins to the exterior of the bacterium cell.

Once a bacterium infects a human or a host, some bacteria will use the SecA system to secrete specific bacteria proteins into the human body causing infections or diseases. Recent advances in NMR Spectroscopy allowed Kalodimos and his coworkers to observe how proteins work in motion. NMR spectroscopy exploits the interaction of radio waves with matter to give scientists a moving picture of molecular structures within the body. The methodology used in Kalodimos group provides researchers with detailed, moving pictures rather than static images produced by other technologies such as X-ray crystallography. Kalodimos likens the motor protein and bacteria activity he has identified to the United State Postal Service's zip code system used to process mail and direct it to its final destination.

"A city as a large as New York City has several different zip codes and a central post office must be present to scan and read these zip codes so the letters can reach their intended destinations," Kalodimos explains. "Proteins have one signal that operates similar to a zip code. The protein "zip code" is read or scanned by some specific protein or large protein machineries. These machineries are needed to transport the protein to the correct compartment within a cell."

He explained that once a bacterium infects a host or human, certain bacteria will use SecA to read the "zip code" system to secrete specific bacteria proteins into the human body.

"Somehow they fool the human body that these are human proteins and the human body begins to use them which may cause a stroke or heart failure in some cases," Kalodimos explains. "By identifying the way this motor protein works, at some point we will be able to develop drugs that can block the secretion of these proteins or limit the activity of SecA causing the bacteria to die before it can reach its destination."

Peter Haigney | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.andromeda.rutgers.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Mass spectrometry sheds new light on thallium poisoning cold case
14.12.2018 | University of Maryland

nachricht Protein involved in nematode stress response identified
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>