Navigation Links
Proteins that stop a major signaling pathway can also generate new proteins
Date:4/24/2008

DURHAM, N.C. Duke University Medical Center researchers have recently discovered that a crucial communications pathway in cells not only stops cells from making proteins, it also makes them go. The team was able to define the way in which proteins called beta arrestins (for their role in stopping signals) also turn on pathways that ultimately lead to the production of new proteins in virtually all tissues in the body.

Because proteins are the building blocks for all cells, this new pathway for the general control of protein manufacturing has opened a new universe for biological studies.

The beta arrestins were discovered two decades ago as the off switches for G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) on the cell surface, which do the job of sending and receiving important signals for cells. This mechanism is the target of about a third of all pharmaceuticals today.

The GPCRs, which were first theorized and discovered at Duke by the study's senior author, Robert J. Lefokowitz, MD, begin a signaling cascade that transmits a message from the cell surface, such as a hormone or neurotransmitter, to the cell's interior and tells it to do something, such as cranking out a particular protein.

These receptors regulate virtually all physiological processes, everything from heart rate to mood. Research on GPCRs has led to numerous successful drugs, including beta blockers which help relieve hypertension, angina and coronary disease, as well as new antihistamines and ulcer drugs. They also formed the basis of Nobel Prize winning work on smell receptors.

"The reason the new work is so exciting to me is that it reminds us, yet again, how the scientific process continuously renews itself, said Lefkowitz, James B. Duke Professor of Medicine and investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. "We discovered the beta arrestins almost 20 years ago, and now we find out they play signaling roles we never dreamed of back then. We are hopeful that these new ideas may lead to new types of drugs."

The study's findings, published in this month's Journal of Biological Chemistry, identified an enzyme called Mnk1 which is activated by beta-arrestin signaling. "What's been discovered here is that beta arrestins initiate important cell signals in their own right, and specifically the control over protein synthesis indicates that they may possess wide control of biological functions," said Scott DeWire PhD, lead author and adjunct assistant professor of medicine at Duke University.

"This added layer of complexity provides us opportunities to study receptors in a whole new way, and possibly identify beta-arrestin-specific signaling," DeWire said. "This is something completely unexpected according to the traditional dogma. Ten years ago, nobody would have imagined that beta-arrestins, with their ability to stop the GPCR signals, could exert global control over protein synthesis."


'/>"/>

Contact: Mary Jane Gore
mary.gore@duke.edu
919-660-1309
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Pathogen virulence proteins suppress plant immunity
2. Statistics are insufficient for study of proteins signal system
3. Scientists rebuild ancient proteins to reveal primordial Earths temperature
4. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop fluorescent proteins for live cell imaging, biosensor design
5. The precise role of seminal proteins in sustaining post-mating responses in fruit flies
6. Using carbon nanotubes to seek and destroy anthrax toxin and other harmful proteins
7. Cystic fibrosis proteins photographed interacting
8. MIT IDs proteins key to brain function
9. Proteins pack tighter in crowded native state
10. Legionnaires bacterial proteins work together to survive
11. New approach builds better proteins inside a computer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/12/2017)... NEW YORK , Jan. 12, 2017  New research ... around the office of the future.  1,000 participants were simply ... last three months which we may consider standard issue.  Insights ... office of 2017 were also gathered from futurists and industry ... and Dr. James Canton .  Some ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... DES MOINES, Iowa , Jan. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... another industry first with the release of its patent-pending ... to quickly and reliably perform calibrations, securely upload data ... more flexibility for the customer. "Fighting drunk ... not only for the public at large, but also ...
(Date:1/6/2017)... 2017  Privately-held CalciMedica, Inc., announced that it ... of a novel calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channel ... Acute pancreatitis, sudden painful inflammation of ... can be very serious.  In severe cases it can ... hospital stays, time in the ICU and substantial ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... Maryland (PRWEB) , ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... two new federally funded bio-focused Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (MII). U.S. Secretary of Commerce ... in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), and the Department of Defense has announced the award ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Researchers from a new study are stating that if levels of ... cancer treatment, this indicates there is still remaining prostate cancer cells that are more likely ... test has always been an indicator of whether a man’s prostate cancer is growing ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... to sell research and genetic testing lab equipment from two different leading institutes. This ... and Northeast regions of the United States. This 1-day online auction will take ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , ... January 18, 2017 , ... Thirty-six startup companies ... credits by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development in 2016 as part ... located in the University City Keystone Innovation Zone and represent the highest number of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: