Navigation Links
Food can affect a cell in the same way hormones do
Date:12/7/2008

Leuven, Belgium VIB researchers connected to the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven have discovered an important new mechanism with which cells can detect nutrients. This happens in the same way − and with the same effects as when cells receive a message from a hormone. This finding can teach us more about how food affects our body; and, furthermore, it can form the basis for new candidate targets for medicines.

Receptors

Every living thing is composed of cells − and, via receptor proteins on their outer surface, cells communicate with each other and with the outside world. Receptors are found on skin cells (pain and pressure receptors, for example) as well as on the cells of other tissues and organs. By binding with certain substances, such as hormones, the receptors pick up signals from outside the cell. They transmit the signal to the interior of the cell, where it can induce all kinds of reactions. Receptors can be stimulated or blocked to evoke or prevent a certain effect. Foreign substances, such as medicines, can also bind to a receptor and cause a particular effect. For some time now, scientists have suspected that cells can also detect the presence of food via one or another receptor − but no one has known how that happens.

Sensing and transporting

In addition to receptors, cells also have transport proteins that can carry nutrients through the cell membrane to the inside of the cell, where they can be put to use. Furthermore so-called 'transceptors' have been discovered that sense and transport food simultaneously.

Now, VIB researcher Griet Van Zeebroeck and her colleagues in Johan Thevelein's group have shown for the first time how one of these transceptors (called Gap1) works. Gap1 transports amino acids (a protein's building blocks) to the inside of a cell. At the same time, via the same mechanisms that cells use to transmit signals from hormones, Gap1 sends the cell a signal that food is present. The transceptor apparently uses the same binding site to recognize the food as it uses to grasp the food for transport.

Yeast vs. humans

This research has been conducted on yeast cells, as yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is a micro-organism that is used as a model organism. Yeast cells are surprisingly similar to human cells, but they are easier to cultivate and manipulate. Very often, proteins that are found in yeast − transport proteins and receptors, for example − have similar variants in human cells.

Importance of this research

This research can have important implications for the development of medicines. About half of all medicines are transmitted to cells via receptors, because receptors are located on the cells' exterior surface and are therefore the best targets for medicines. If these newly discovered transceptors are also found in humans, then an unexpected new group of candidate targets for medicines becomes available − offering promising possibilities for the treatment of metabolic diseases.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sooike Stoops
info@vib.be
329-244-6611
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Gender, coupled with diabetes, affects vascular disease development
2. Restless legs syndrome affects nearly 2 percent of US/UK children
3. UCR engineers to develop new tool to measure how environmental exposures affect health
4. Soft drinks alone do not affect childrens weight
5. North Americas northernmost lake affected by global warming
6. Does the victim affect snake venom composition?
7. Alcohol and sleep restriction can affect young mens alertness and driving performance
8. Study shows genetically engineered corn could affect aquatic ecosystems
9. Israeli scientists identify: Genes that affect responses of multiple sclerosis patients to copaxone
10. Could vitamin D, a key milk nutrient, affect how you age?
11. Family conditions may affect when girls experience puberty
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com ... Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... will focus on developing health and wellness apps that ... Hack the Genome is the first hackathon for ... world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech and health ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... March 29, 2017  higi, the health IT company ... North America , today announced a Series ... acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates ... tools to transform population health activities through the collection ... higi collects and secures data today on ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 2017 The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives ... Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most ... Reading ... Maldives ... Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR award ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 21, 2017 , ... ... Healthcare Edition 2017. The awards recognize medical centers that have implemented innovative products, ... efficiency of patient care protocols, competitive advantages, financial impact/value, and market need. The ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 21, 2017 , ... Boston Strategic ... experience with Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) and ‘big data’ to provide ... US healthcare spending exceeded $3.0 trillion with nearly 1/3 spent on hospitalizations. BSP ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 21, 2017 , ... Today Aether ... a project, funded by a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant, to ... Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also known as the Gates Foundation, is said to ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... Jose, CA (PRWEB) , ... August 18, 2017 ... ... advanced precision Lithography Equipment for the Semiconductor, MEMS, and Microfluidics Industries, announces the ... features and specifications found more often in automated production mask aligners. OAI has ...
Breaking Biology Technology: