Navigation Links
Carnegie Mellon's Philip LeDuc discovers new protein function
Date:1/12/2010

PITTSBURGHCarnegie Mellon University's Philip R. LeDuc and his collaborators in Massachusetts and Taiwan have discovered a new function of a protein that could ultimately unlock the mystery of how these workhorses of the body play a central role in the mechanics of biological processes in people.

"What we have done is find a new function of a protein that helps control cell behavior from a mechanics perspective," said LeDuc, an associate professor of mechanical engineering with courtesy appointments in the Biomedical Engineering, Biological Sciences and Computational Biology departments.

"For over 15 years, researchers have been mainly focusing on a protein called Integrin to study these cell functions, but our team found that another lesser known protein called Syndecan-4 is extremely important in cell behavior in a field called MechanoBiology (a field linking mechanics and biology). Syndecan-4 is known to play an essential role in a variety of diseases like cancer," LeDuc said.

LeDuc's new findings appear in the Dec. 29 edition of the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences along with complementary work that is appearing in another highly respected journal, Nature Protocols.

Essentially what his research does is take a look at how a protein's shape and form determines how it functions in the human body from a mechanics perspective. Proteins are composed of long chains of amino acids than can form bonds with other molecules in a chain, kinking, twisting and folding into complicated, three-dimensional shapes, such as helices or densely furrowed globular structures.

"These folded shapes are immensely important because they can define a protein's function in the cell," said LeDuc, who is also developing novel biologically inspired diagnostic approaches and materials as well as computational methods to understand molecular behavior.

LeDuc said his research finds that some protein shapes fit perfectly into cell receptors, turning chemical processes on and off, like a key in a lock. With mechanics changing the shape of proteins, LeDuc says the key might no longer fit into the lock, and serious consequences in the body can occur when proteins fail to assume their preordained shapes or fail to connect properly.

"Misguided proteins have been linked to disease such as cancer, arthritis and wound healing, among others," LeDuc said. "Our research is looking at how protein shapes affect cells and how cell biomechanics impacts the entire process."


'/>"/>

Contact: Chriss Swaney
swaney@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-5776
Carnegie Mellon University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Carnegie Mellon engineers develop machine that visually inspects and sorts strawberry plants
2. Carnegie Mellon researchers receive grant
3. Carnegie Mellon customizing electric cars for cost-effective urban commuting
4. Carnegie Mellon researchers to develop probes to study cellular GPS
5. Carnegie Mellon researchers save electricity with low-power processors and flash memory
6. Technology Review names Carnegie Mellons Treuille as a top young innovator
7. Carnegie Mellon develops innovative method to detect genetic causes of complex diseases
8. Carnegie donates landmark clones to biology
9. Carnegie Mellons Jean VanBriesen leads research team on Monongahela River
10. Carnegie Mellon team makes sequestration recommendations
11. Carnegie Mellons Kris Matyjaszewski recieves EPAs Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/9/2016)... Vigilant Solutions announces today that an agency used ... a lead in a difficult homicide case. The agency then ... the suspect vehicle. Due to the ongoing investigation, the agency ... at the agency,s request. --> ... was found deceased at an intersection here in the City. ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... 2016 --> ... "Automated Fingerprint Identification System Market by Component (Hardware and ... & Finance, Government, Healthcare, and Transportation) and Geography - ... is expected to be worth USD 8.49 Billion by ... and 2020. The transformation and technology evolution from the ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016 Checkpoint Inhibitors for ... Market Are you interested in the future ... for checkpoint inhibitors. Visiongain,s report gives those predictions ... and national level. Avoid falling behind in ... opportunities and revenues those emerging cancer therapies can ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... , February 10, 2016 Early-career researchers ... , Peru , Uganda and ... life-enhancing work in health and nutrition   Indonesia ... Uganda and Yemen are being ... and epidemiology. They are also celebrated for mentoring young women scientists who ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ASAE is introducing a hybrid membership model ... the option of joining or renewing through an organizational ... staff size, every employee in any size association or ... all available member benefits.   John H. ... options will allow organizations of any size and their ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016  Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ) ... Brent Saunders , Allergan,s CEO and President, will be ... session at the RBC Capital Markets Healthcare Conference on ... The New York Palace Hotel in New ... live and can be accessed on Allergan,s Investor Relations ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 10, 2016 , ... HOLLOWAY AMERICA, a leading custom stainless ... Mountain Chapter 21st Annual Vendor Exhibition on Thursday, February 18, 2016. The Rocky ... its annual event, which will run from 3:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at ...
Breaking Biology Technology: