Navigation Links
Biologists at UC San Diego identify key protein in cell's 'self-eating' function
Date:3/11/2008

Molecular biologists at the University of California, San Diego have found one piece of the complex puzzle of autophagy, the process of self-eating performed by all eukaryotic cells -- cells with a nucleus -- to keep themselves healthy.

Their finding, published in the March 11 issue of the journal Developmental Cell, is important because it allows scientists to control this one aspect of cellular autophagy, and may lead to the ability to control other selective self-eating processes. This, in turn, could help illuminate autophagys role in aging, immunity, neurodegeneration and cancer.

All eukaryotic cells dispose of bacteria, viruses, damaged organelles and other non-essential components through this self-eating process. A part of the cell called the lysosome engulfs and degrades subcellular detritus. The ability of cells to recycle and reuse the cellular raw materials, as well as to re-model themselves in response to changing conditions, allows them to adapt and survive.

Autophagy was first described about 40 years ago, but has recently become a topic of great interest in cell biology because it is linked to cell growth, development aging and homeostasis -- helping cells to maintain a balance among synthesis, degradation and recycling.

The UC San Diego researchers report in their paper that they identified a novel protein called Atg30 (one of 31 required for autophagy-related processes) from the yeast Pichia pastoris, that controls the degradation of a sub-compartment of cells, the peroxisomes.

Peroxisomes generate and dispose of harmful peroxides that are by-products of oxidative chemical reactions.

Different organelles within the cell are degraded by lysosomes when the organelles are damaged or not necessary, said Jean-Claude Farr, the biologist who identified Atg30. The team is investigating peroxisomes, and working to understand how and why they are selected by the lysosome for degradation.

What the biologists found, he said, is that this new protein can mediate peroxisome selection during pexophagy that is, it is necessary for pexophagy, but not for other autophagy-related processes.

Suresh Subramani, a professor of biology who headed the team, said they have established that Atg30 is a key player in the selection of peroxisomes for delivery to the autophagy machinery for re-cycling.

For the first time, we can use a protein to control the process, Subramani said. Its an important step in understanding the workings of cells.


'/>"/>

Contact: Paul K. Mueller
pkmueller@ucsd.edu
858-534-8564
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. The American Society of Plant Biologists announces 2007 awards
2. Biologists expose hidden costs of firefly flashes
3. Tufts University biologists link Huntingtons disease to health benefits in young
4. UD plant biologists uncover top wetland plants hidden weapon
5. Evolution is deterministic, not random, biologists conclude from multi-species study
6. Biologists find unusual plant gene: abstinence by mutual consent
7. Ant parasite turns host into ripe red berry, biologists discover
8. Cell biologists announce child-care grants for scientist-parents at annual meeting
9. Biologists surprised to find parochial bacterial viruses
10. UC San Diego physicists tackle knotty puzzle
11. UC-San Diego Engineering Honor Society wins most outstanding chapter award
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2016)... care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging industry.  As such, ... to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160524/371420 ... ... ... With ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a brand ... overview results from the Q1 wave of its quarterly ... was consumers, receptivity to a program where they would ... health insurance company. "We were surprised to ... Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... FRANCISCO and BANGALORE, India , ... of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... provider, today announced a global partnership that will ... way to use mobile banking and payment services. ... is a key innovation area for financial services, but it ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016  Regular discussions on a range of subjects including ... two entities said Poloz. Speaking at a lecture ... , he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which is ... "In certain areas there ... common economic goals, why not sit down and address strategy ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The ... is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to announce ... Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval of the Peel ... President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods perform comparably to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking ... Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. ... Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as ...
Breaking Biology Technology: