Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers identified an important signaling molecule of cell communication

24.03.2016

"Nature" publication gives hope to a more targeted effect of medicine

International scientists led by Carsten Hoffmann and Martin Lohse of the University Würzburg, Germany, identified for the first timeβ-Arrestin as an independent signaling molecule. The protein modulates a pharmaceutically important pathway. The results were published in the prestigious scientific journal "Nature". It leads to new drug targets, for example in pain therapy.


Schematic drawing of β(beta)Arrestin2. With these biosensors (colored), scientists were able to study spatial movements of the protein in real time in living cells.

Group Hoffmann, Rudolf Virchow Center

The most important target for drug research are G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR). Around 30 percent of all medicine work on more than 800 members of this class of proteins. GPCRs are crucial for cell communication and the processing of pain and sensory stimuli.

The protein β-Arrestin regulates GPCR. However, it remained unclear how it functions on a molecular level. With biosensors, scientists were able to explain the interaction on a temporal and spatial level. "When I discovered β-Arrestin in 1990, it looked like, it is there to disable receptors," said Lohse. "That it acts as an independent signaling molecule, we could demonstrate only now with the latest technology."

Experiments showed that β-Arrestin was transferred into an active state by receptors, which lasted longer that its interaction with the receptor. The change was so significant that a cycle of activation and deactivation of β-Arrestin was detectable - a criterion for the definition of an independent signaling molecule. At the same time, American collaborators were able to show that the type of activation of β-Arrestin depends on the activating receptor.

Their results will be also published in "Nature". The exchange with American colleagues pushed the project enormously. Hoffmann became aware of their work during a conference. "This project went through ups and downs," Hoffmann remembers. "We often had to be patient, but it was worth it."

By molecular reinforcing or blocking of β-Arrestin, the effect of future drugs could be more specific and associated with fewer side effects. Due to their diversity, GPCR and now possibly β-Arrestin are important targets for pharmaceutical substances. Hoffmann expects a particularly good progress in long-term treatment with strong painkillers.

The body gets used to the medicine and becomes increasingly depended on higher doses. At the same time, side effect will appear even stronger. New medicine targeting specifically β-Arrestin on a molecular level could minimize this tolerance and therefore its side effects, and could enable a more effective long-term therapy.

Hoffmann is optimistic about future projects. As a next step, he wants to test whether activation of β-Arrestin can be changed by model substances. "That would be the first step to new medical drugs."

Publication: Susanne Nuber, Ulrike Zabel, Kristina Lorenz, Andreas Nuber, Graeme Milligan, Andrew B. Tobin, Martin J. Lohse, Carsten Hoffmann β-Arrestin biosensors reveal a rapid, receptor-dependent activation/deactivation cycle. Nature doi:10.1038/nature17198

Person:
Prof Carsten Hoffmann joined the Rudolf Virchow Center for Experimental Biomedicine of the University of Würzburg in 2012.
Prof Martin Lohse is founder and chair of the Rudolf Virchow Center and future scientific manager and chairman of the Max Delbück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in Berlin.

Research group Hoffmann:
http://www.rudolf-virchow-zentrum.de/forschung/arbeitsgruppen/ag-hoffmann/forsch...

Research group Lohse:
http://www.rudolf-virchow-zentrum.de/forschung/arbeitsgruppen/ag-lohse/forschung...

The Rudolf Virchow Center for Experimental Biomedicine is a central institution of the University of Würzburg. Research groups are working on target proteins, which are essential for cellular function and therefore central to health and disease.

Contact
Prof. Dr. Carsten Hoffmann
Tel. 0049 (0)931 3148304, c.hoffmann@toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de

Prof. Dr. Martin Lohse
Tel. 0049 (0)931 3148400, lohse@toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de

Dr. Daniela Diefenbacher (Press Office, Rudolf Virchow Center)
Tel. 0049 (0)931 3188631, daniela.diefenbacher@uni-wuerzburg.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.rudolf-virchow-zentrum.de/en/news/news/article/forscher-entschluessel...

Dr. Daniela Diefenbacher | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cohesin down-regulation drives hematopoietic stem cell aging
14.12.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

nachricht Magic number colloidal clusters
13.12.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

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

Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife

14.12.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Magic number colloidal clusters

13.12.2018 | Life Sciences

UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form

13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>