Navigation Links
Researchers capture images of open channel that moves proteins across cell membranes
Date:10/23/2013

(Boston) Similar to passengers on an urban transit system, every protein made in the cell has a specific destination and function. Channels in cell membranes help direct these proteins to their appropriate target. Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and their colleagues have now captured images of these channels as they open to allow proteins to pass through a membrane, while the proteins are being made. These findings are published as a Letter in Nature (Park, E. et al. 2013).

Christopher W. Akey, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics at BUSM is a co-senior author of the Letter. In addition, the collaborating institutions include Harvard Medical School (HMS), Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and Georgia Institute of Technology (GT).

Proteins, which are encoded by genes, are large molecules that perform specific functions. Many proteins such as hormones and growth factors are secreted by the cell and move into the bloodstream. These proteins are made in factories called ribosomes, which interact with a family of channels called Sec61/SecY that provide a path across the membrane. Initially, these nascent, or newly-made, proteins are inserted into channels as the proteins are being made. The channels also aid in inserting nascent proteins into the cell membrane where they function as receptors for drugs and form ion channels that function in vision and in transmitting nerve cell impulses.

In this study, researchers used samples made in E. coli bacteria to determine the structure of the highly conserved SecY channel. Using an electron microscope and computer analysis, researchers were able to capture images of the SecY channel opening when a nascent protein enters the central pore. In particular, the channel undergoes large movements that enlarge the central pore as a first step in allowing the nascent protein to cross the cell membrane and eventually travel to its destination.

"Similar to train cars that transport passengers through a tunnel, SecY/Sec61 channels help nascent proteins move across the cell membrane to reach their target in the body, and this study provides important insight about the function of these channels," said Akey.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jenny Eriksen Leary
jenny.eriksen@bmc.org
617-638-6841
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UAlberta medical researchers discover potential new treatment for colitis
2. Older siblings cells can be passed from female dogs to their puppies in the womb, MU researchers find
3. Nitrogen fertilizer remains in soils and leaks towards groundwater for decades, researchers find
4. Researchers discover innate virus-killing power in mammals
5. CNIO researchers delve into the behavior of cohesins
6. Rensselaer researchers propose new theory to explain seeds of life in asteroids
7. UT Dallas researchers find early success in new treatment for stroke recovery
8. University of Utah researchers receive NIH Directors New Innovator Award
9. UC Davis researchers discover a biological link between diabetes and heart disease
10. Researchers use smart phone photography to diagnose eye disease
11. University of Maryland researchers studying vaccine to prevent potential bird flu pandemic
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/15/2018)... ... September 14, 2018 , ... ... This campaign will showcase the innovative work being done within rare diseases research, ... therapies for those living with rare diseases. , The print ...
(Date:9/12/2018)... ... September 12, 2018 , ... Captiva Spine, Inc., which designs, ... received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market ... , TowerLOX-EXT MIS Extended Tab Pedicle Screws provide the narrow insertion of an ...
(Date:9/1/2018)... ... ... Right this minute, Frenchman Ben Lecomte is hard at work on his second ocean crossing. ... a new challenge: going from Tokyo to San Francisco, churning his limbs eight hours a ... boat. As the first expedition of its kind, The Swim is far more than just ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/31/2018)... (PRWEB) , ... August 29, 2018 , ... ... Professorships at both the University of Southampton and the Institute of Industrial Science, ... intelligence at sea can dramatically accelerate the exploration and study of hard to ...
(Date:8/29/2018)... ... August 28, 2018 , ... ... of contact lenses, has been ranked in 1138th place on the 27th annual ... , The list represents the most successful companies within the American economy’s ...
(Date:8/26/2018)... ... August 23, 2018 , ... ... innovators, engineers, and scientists from around the world, will host the 4th Annual ... an array of industries and disciplines, encompassing various research areas including medicine, agriculture, ...
(Date:8/21/2018)... LEXINGTON, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Corporation , a software company specializing in medical device compliance and commercialization, ... leveraging the Cockpit® platform. , Written and presented by Dr. Mario Kossmann, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: