Navigation Links
2-way traffic enable proteins to get where needed, avoid disease
Date:11/25/2013

Augusta, Ga. - It turns out that your messenger RNA may catch more than one ride to get where it's going.

Scientists have found that mRNA may travel one way down a cell, then board another, aptly named motor protein, and head in the opposite direction to get where it ultimately needs to be.

It's a pretty important journey, because mRNA determines which proteins a cell expresses, differentiating a brain cell from, say, a muscle cell, said Dr. Graydon B. Gonsalvez, cell biologist at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University.

"It used to be thought there was a relatively simple scenario where if a cargo needs to go here, it gets on one track and it goes that way," said Gonsalvez, corresponding author of the study in the journal PLOS ONE.

But like a motorist on a backed-up interstate, scientists at MCG and the University of Cambridge, have found that mRNA needs the flexibility to maneuver around potentially numerous obstacles in its path to ultimately arrive at the right spot.

"The ability to reverse their tracks is important to their ability to eventually get where they need to go," Gonsalvez said. And location is really everything, because the proteins need to be expressed in a specific location to function correctly.

While too much misdirection is incompatible with life, a little is OK and maybe even normal. But at levels in between, the health consequences can include Alzheimer's, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and Fragile X syndrome, which can produce mild to severe intellectual deficits as well as physical characteristics such as flat feet and an elongated face. "Most human diseases come from not a loss of a process, but a compromise to the process," Gonsalvez said.

The scientists suspected the bidirectional ability because they could see the two motor proteins that would head in opposite directions parked side-by-side in the cell. When they removed the then-idle motor that could go in the opposite direction, delivery, or localization, of the cargo mRNA already en-route was compromised.

"What we have seen is that there are many things that can reverse that track," Gonsalvez said. "If they can only go in one direction, they can bump into something, like a stray organelle, and get stuck."

Motor proteins have long been known to haul mRNA up and down the cell's cytoskeleton, which essentially functions as an internal roadway for the cell. Gonsalvez recently received a $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to fill in other important knowledge gaps about the journey, like how the motor proteins know which mRNA to transport, because not all mRNA needs to be localized.

He likens the routing system to a ZIP code and thinks proteins are again key, but in this case, they are bound to the mRNA, flagging it for travel. "Something is telling the cell that this message is different," he said.

In the case of Fragile X syndrome, for example, he suspects that one or more proteins that should be bound to mRNA are missing so the cell can't tell the messenger it needs to be moved.

Another question Gonsalvez wants to answer is how mRNA holds on for the ride since the motor protein won't bind with it directly.

"These are not easy questions but the thought is once we understand the answers, we will understand why, when you have a defect in this process, you have a disease pathology," Gonsalvez said.

He notes that transportation of mRNA occurs lifelong, since proteins have a limited life and are constantly being replaced.

His research model is the comparatively simple fruit fly in which the technology is available to selectively knock out motor proteins in specific cells. His published research was funded by the American Cancer Society and the NIH.


'/>"/>

Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@gru.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Molecular 2-way radio directs nerve cell branching and connectivity
2. Reducing traffic at 2008 Olympics yielded large cut in CO2
3. Symbols, such as traffic lights, on menus effective in educating diners
4. A new method for measuring the flow of traffic a street has to bear by measuring atmospheric noise
5. Long-term exposure to fine particles of traffic pollution increases risk of heart disease
6. Neurochemical traffic signals may open new avenues for the treatment of schizophrenia
7. Gene decoding obeys road traffic rules
8. Traffic pollution and wood smoke increases asthma in adults
9. Home cooking, traffic are sources of key air pollutants from China
10. USC scientists ID protein that regulates cellular trafficking, potential for anti-cancer therapy
11. Protein explains increased asthma severity in children exposed to diesel exhaust from traffic
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
2-way traffic enable proteins to get where needed, avoid disease
(Date:1/24/2017)...  It sounds simple and harmless—an electronic sensor ... signs and alerts parents on their smart phones ... drops. But pediatric experts argue that such devices ... evidence of medical benefits, especially to healthy babies. ... parents of healthy babies, promising peace of mind ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... report to their offering. ... The global voice recognition biometrics market to grow at ... The report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of ... market size, the report considers the revenue generated from the sales ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... CLARA, Calif. , Jan. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... company enhancing user experience and security for consumer ... of next-generation payment processing systems and cybersecurity solutions, ... more banks, enterprises and financial institutions worldwide to ... part of the end-to-end secure user authentication platforms ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... BellBrook Labs is formalizing a ... array of biochemical analyses critical for Lead Discovery. The company’s Lead Discovery ... programs, including inhibitor potency and selectivity, mechanism of action, and inhibitor residence times ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... upscale Capitol Hill neighborhood, with its swanky shops, parks and cafés, ... treatment salon to set up shop. But there,s Hair ... bistro on E Madison Ave, and CEO Maria Botham ... clinic, we pride ourselves on being a destination for parents ... stigma associated with lice. Everyone can get lice – it ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Ind. (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... Award during the 12th annual Inventors Recognition Reception at Purdue Research Park ... to a faculty member in recognition of outstanding contributions to, and success with, ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 23, 2017 Aviva Systems Biology Corporation ... acquisition of GenWay Biotech Incorporated, a protein solutions ... product offering for both the research and diagnostic ... and enhance capabilities for both entities. GenWay,s 18 years ... will nicely complement ASB,s objective to become a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: