Navigation Links
Crystal structure shows how motor protein works
Date:9/18/2011

The crystal structure of the dynamin protein one of the molecular machines that makes cells work has been revealed, bringing insights into a class of molecules with a wide influence on health and disease.

"It's a really cool structure," said Jodi Nunnari, professor and chair of molecular and cellular biology at UC Davis and senior author of the paper, to be published Sept. 18 in the journal Nature. "This is a really important class of molecules for regulating membrane dynamics."

The detailed structure reveals exactly how the dynamin protein can form large assemblies that pinch off bubbles, or vesicles, from cell membranes. These vesicles allow a cell to "eat" proteins, liquids or other items from the outside, compartmentalize them and move them around within itself.

Marijn Ford, a postdoctoral scholar in Nunnari's laboratory, mapped the crystal structure of dynamin-1 in collaboration with Simon Jenni, a research fellow at Harvard University.

Dynamin belongs to a large family of proteins that, in the right conditions, can self-assemble into larger structures and generate force. Those properties of self-assembly and movement can be harnessed in the cell for different functions.

Dynamin-1 itself is involved in making vesicles in nerve cells at the points where nerves form connections, or synapses, with each other. Nerve cells communicate through chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) that are released from and taken up by vesicles. Altering the balance of these messengers can affect mental function. For example, an important class of antidepressant drugs works by affecting the uptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

The new crystal structure shows exactly how the individual dynamin proteins can line up to form a helix, and then move by ratcheting alongside each other.

It also shows that part of the protein can interact with lipids in cell membranes. That could allow different types of dynamin protein to interact with subtly different types of membrane, specializing their function.

Understanding these miniature motors also might make it possible one day to engineer cells that can do new and different tasks, Nunnari said.


'/>"/>
Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Crystals detect threats to national security
2. Nano-diamond qubits and photonic crystals
3. Quartz crystal microbalances enable new microscale analytic technique
4. X-ray crystallography reveals structure of precursor to blood-clotting protein
5. New type of liquid crystal promises to improve performance of digital displays
6. How do your crystals grow?
7. A crystal ball for predicting the effects of global climate change
8. Cholesterol crystals incite inflammation in coronary arteries
9. Ancestral Eve crystal may explain origin of lifes left-handedness
10. Researchers envision high-tech applications for multiferroic crystals
11. Scientists watch as peptides control crystal growth with switches, throttles and brakes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 No ... but researchers at the New York University Tandon ... of Engineering have found that partial similarities between ... systems used in mobile phones and other electronic ... The vulnerability lies in the fact ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... -- Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, ... (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / ... Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality ... looking for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access ... ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... NEW YORK , April 5, 2017 ... security, is announcing that the server component of the ... is known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that ... customers. HYPR has already secured over 15 ... system makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... prospective clinical study that demonstrates the accuracy of the FebriDx® test, a ... significant acute bacterial and viral respiratory tract infections by testing the body’s ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... N.C. (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... ARCS® Foundation President Andi Purple announced Dr. Suneel I. Sheikh, the co-founder, ... ( ASTER Labs ), Inc. has been selected for membership in ARCS ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... will be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ... digital pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A new study published in Fertility and ... in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. The multi-center matched cohort study ... comparing the results from the fresh and frozen transfer cohorts, the authors of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: