Navigation Links
Ancient protein offers clues to killer condition
Date:5/12/2008

More than 600 million years of evolution has taken two unlikely distant cousins turkeys and scallops - down very different physical paths from a common ancestor. But University of Leeds researchers have found that a motor protein, myosin 2, remains structurally identical in both creatures.

The discovery suggests that the tiny motor protein is much more important than previously thought and for humans it may even hold a key to understanding potentially fatal conditions such as aneurisms.

Says Professor Knight of the Universitys Faculty of Biological Sciences: This is an astonishing discovery. Myosin 2s function is to make the smooth muscle in internal organs tense and relax involuntarily. These creatures have completely different regulatory mechanisms: the myosin in a turkeys gizzards allows it to chew food in the absence of teeth, while that in a scallop enables it to swim. Yet they have exactly the same structure.

Myosin molecules generate tension in smooth muscle by adhering to form a filament, which grabs hold of a neighbouring filament, and relaxes by letting go. When the muscle is in a relaxed state, myosin molecule folds itself up into a compact structure.

This folded structure allows the smooth muscles to adjust to being different lengths so they can operate over a large distance, such as the bladder or the uterus expanding and contracting. In contrast, skeletal muscles operate over a narrow range, defined by how much joints can move.

Professor Knight says: We were puzzled to find that the scallops myosin 2 had retained its ability to fold and unfold, as they dont need to accommodate a large range of movement. After all, the scallop only moves its shell a little when it swims.

In evolution, if something is not essential to the survival of an organism, it is not conserved. The fact that the scallop has retained all the functions of its myosin 2 over hundreds of millions of years tells us that this folding is of fundamental functional importance in muscle and that we dont know as much about it as we need to know.

In humans, any changes in the composition of myosin within the muscles can be fatal. For example, a swelling in the walls of an artery can cause a brain aneurism, while an enlarged heart can lead to cardiac arrest in a young, fit person.

Says Professor Knight: Because these malfunctions occur in our internal organs, we are often unaware of what is going wrong until its too late. Learning how to control myosin, how to move it around without disturbing the delicate balance between filaments and individual molecules, is an emerging area and one we are only just beginning to tackle.


'/>"/>

Contact: Peter Knight
p.j.knight@leeds.ac.uk
44-113-343-4349
University of Leeds
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Ancient Nutcracker Man challenges ideas on evolution of human diet
2. Ancient sunflower fuels debate about agriculture in the Americas
3. Ancient ecosystems organized much like our own
4. Synchrotron light unveils oil in ancient Buddhist paintings from Bamiyan
5. Ancient DNA: reconstruction of the biological history of Aldaieta necropolis
6. Ancient reptile rises from Alberta oil sands
7. Ancient lemurs little finger poses mystery
8. Floating a big idea: MIT demos ancient use of rafts to transport goods
9. Ancient mystery solved
10. New dinosaur from Mexico offers insights into ancient life on West America
11. Scientists rebuild ancient proteins to reveal primordial Earths temperature
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/16/2016)... , Nov. 16, 2016 Sensory Inc ... and security for consumer electronics, and VeriTran ... and retail industry, today announced a global partnership ... way to authenticate users of mobile banking and ... TrulySecureâ„¢ software which requires no specialized biometric ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016 Research and Markets ... America 2016-2020" report to their offering. ... North America to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% ... prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry ... over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... , June 20, 2016 Securus Technologies, ... technology solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections and ... prisons involved, it has secured the final acceptance ... facilities for Managed Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, ... facilities to be installed by October, 2016. MAS ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)...  HedgePath Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCQX: HPPI), a clinical ... to commercialize innovative therapeutics for patients with cancer, ... approved for trading on the OTCQX U.S. market. ... effective today, under the ticker symbol "HPPI." ... must meet high financial standards, follow best practice ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016 Eutilex Co. Ltd. today ... (US $18.9M) Series A financing. This financing round included ... Venture and SNU Bio Angel. This new funding brings ... KRW (US $27.7M) since its founding in 2015. ... the development and commercialization of its immuno-oncology programs, expand ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016   Biocept, Inc . ... provider of clinically actionable liquid biopsy tests to ... clinical data featuring its Target Selectorâ„¢ Circulating Tumor ... for the detection of actionable biomarkers in patients ... sponsored by Sara Cannon Research Institute (SCRI), the ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... A new ... the setting of previously treated, advanced pancreatic cancer, liquid biopsies are not yet ... population and timing of blood sampling may improve the value of a blood-based ...
Breaking Biology Technology: