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Researchers discover architecture for fundamental processes of life
Date:5/13/2008

This release is available in French.

Montreal, May 13, 2008 A team of Canadian researchers has completed a massive survey of the network of protein complexes that orchestrate the fundamental processes of life. In the online edition of the journal Science, researchers from the Universit de Montral describe protein complexes and networks of complexes never before observed including two implicated in the normal mechanisms by which cells divide and proliferate and another that controls recycling of the molecular building blocks of life called autophagy.

These processes are implicated in diseases such as cancers and autophagy has recently been shown to be involved in degenerative neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and Huntington's diseases. The discovery will fill gaps in basic knowledge about the workings and evolutionary origins of the living cell and provide new avenues to explore in linking these fundamental processes to human disease.

The study was led by Stephen Michnick, a Universit de Montral biochemistry professor and Canada Research Chair in Integrative Genomics, along with Universit de Montral co-first authors: Kirill Tarassov, Vincent Messier, Christian Landry and Stevo Radinovic. Collaborators from McGills Department of Biology included Canadian genomics pioneer Prof. Howard Bussey and Prof. Jackie Vogel.

Our team systematically analyzed the interactions of proteins of bakers yeast, a unicellular organism confirmed to provide insight into fundamental processes shared by most living cells including those of humans, explained Prof. Michnick.

New technology makes discovery possible

The examination of protein complexes was made possible by a unique technology developed by Prof. Michnick with his post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. The novel technology allows interactions between protein
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Contact: Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins
sylvain-jacques.desjardins@umontreal.ca
514-343-7593
University of Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

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