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:6/14/2017)... IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner startups at ... between startups and global businesses, taking place in ... startups will showcase the solutions they have built with IBM ... France is one of the most ... increase in the number of startups created between 2012 and ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), ... and identity verification solutions, announced today they will participate ... May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... Trade Center. Identity impacts the lives ... today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is critical ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... 2017 RAM Group , Singaporean ... breakthrough in biometric authentication based on a ... to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based ... by Ram Group and its partners. This sensor will ... chains and security. Ram Group is a next ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... The Academy ... and the University Aviation Association (UAA), the unifying voice for collegiate aviation education, ... will encourage teamwork, competition, and success through a STEM-based education platform. , Much ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... , ... June 22, 2017 , ... ... over the allergy specialists DST Diagnostische Systeme & Technologien GmbH, thereby expanding its ... someone who suffers from hay fever, urticaria, asthma, atopic eczema or a food ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 22, 2017 , ... The first ... took 20 years until the first data on cross-contamination of human cell lines with ... been an increasing issue in cell culture labs and is associated with dramatic consequences ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... Biologist Dawn Maslar MS has found a biomarker ... Men Chase, Women Choose: The Neuroscience of Meeting, Dating, Losing Your Mind, and Finding ... men. ”The logical next step, in my estimation, was to scientifically track the evidence ...
Breaking Biology Technology: