Navigation Links
Argonautes: A big turn-off for proteins
Date:2/1/2010

Johns Hopkins scientists believe they may have figured out how genetic snippets called microRNAs are able to shut down the production of some proteins.

The issue, they say, is important because the more scientists know about how genes the blueprints for proteins are regulated, the more likely they are to figure out how to use that information in treating or preventing diseases linked to such regulation, including cancer.

In both computer and test-tube studies using fruit-fly protein, the Johns Hopkins researchers intensively studied a fairly large protein called Argonaute because it is known to bind to microRNA and ultimately shut down protein production.

"The question was how it did it," says Rachel Green, Ph.D., a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and professor of molecular biology and genetics in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Previous studies have been inconclusive about the mechanism by which microRNAs bound to Argonautes prevent the production of protein from a given gene.

In this study, the team discovered that when an Argonaute binds to a microRNA, it then binds more tightly to a messenger RNA thereby sequestering the message from the translation machine known as the ribosome where protein production happens.

Their research appeared in January in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

The team set out to characterize Argonautes first using computers to compare their shapes and structures with other proteins. They found striking similarities between Argonaute structures and proteins that happened to exhibit a particular kind of "cooperative binding" known as allostery.

Allostery is a condition in which the binding of one molecule stimulates the binding of a second.

By chopping up Argonaute proteins from fruit flies and testing each piece individually, the team showed that allostery stimulated tenfold the binding of the Argonaute and miRNA complex to messenger RNA.

The scientists speculate that as a result of being bound, the messenger RNA was prevented from doing its job of delivering a gene's instructions to the ribosome that translates them and manufactures proteins. These studies provide new insights into Argonaute protein function, motivating the next series of questions in the field.

"MicroRNAs are all the rage," Green says. "Suddenly, in the last 10 years, there's this whole set of genes and cellular components that we had no idea existed, and they're ubiquitous. They play roles in all manner of development, and Argonautes are the main class of protein involved in regulating them."


'/>"/>

Contact: Maryalice Yakutchik
myakutc1@jhmi.edu
443-287-2251
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Membrane-coat proteins: Bacteria have them too
2. Researchers identify proteins that might contribute to memory loss and Alzheimers disease
3. Molecular chaperone keeps bacterial proteins from slow-dancing to destruction
4. BBS proteins shown to run an export business that protects cilia
5. Saliva proteins change as women age
6. Largest-ever database for liver proteins may lead to treatments for hepatitis
7. Escaped proteins add to hearing loss in elderly, UF researchers find
8. University of the Basque Country study on proteins related to Alzheimers
9. InVivo and CEVEC pharmaceuticals sign license agreement regarding the use of human CAP-T Technology for production of recombinant proteins
10. How proteins talk to each other
11. Researchers prolong the half-life of biopharmaceutical proteins
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/7/2017)... Feb. 7, 2017 Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. ... healthcare, will present at the LEERINK Partners 6th Annual ... Hotel on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 10 a.m. ... the presentation can be accessed at http://wsw.com/webcast/leerink28/zbh .  ... conference via Zimmer Biomet,s Investor Relations website at ...
(Date:2/3/2017)... A new independent identity strategy consultancy firm announces its ... to fill a critical niche in technical and policy ... Mark Crego and Janice Kephart together ... that span federal governments, the 9/11 Commission, private industry, ... has a common theme born from a shared passion ...
(Date:2/1/2017)... February 1, 2017 IDTechEx Research, a leading ... technology, announces the availability of a new report, Sensors for ... Continue Reading ... ... collaborative robots. Source: IDTechEx Report "Sensors for Robotics: Technologies, Markets and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/27/2017)... A Europe-wide survey of institutes conducted by the Basel Declaration ... treat them with due care. The survey polled a total of ... indicates that there is a strong commitment among animal researchers across ... of the 3Rs (Refine, Reduce, Replace)  ... What are the 3Rs? Refine: ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... , Feb. 27, 2017 Fluxion Biosciences announced ... has been appointed as a Certified Service ... IsoFlux system will be used in Genetracer Biotech,s novel ... lung and colon cancer, with plans to move to ... is utilizing Fluxion,s IsoFlux System to isolate, recover, and ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A study recently published in Spine shows ... center (ASC) with satisfactory clinical and patient-reported outcomes, when compared to anterior cervical ... Lubinski, president of AxioMed, commented on the recent publication, stating, “We see cervical ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... FRANCISCO , Feb. 24, 2017 Symic ... is developing a new category of therapeutics, announced today ... of SB-030 in peripheral artery disease. The trial will ... administered single-use therapeutic, in the reduction of restenosis following ... this critical development milestone for SB-030," said Nathan ...
Breaking Biology Technology: