Navigation Links
Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein
Date:8/16/2007

in humans and other vertebrates that allows cells to respond to the hormone cortisol, which regulates the body's stress response. The scientists' goal was to understand the process of evolution behind the GR's ability to specifically interact with cortisol. They used computational techniques and a large database of modern receptor sequences to determine the ancient GR's gene sequence from a time just before and just after its specific relationship with cortisol evolved. The ancient genes which existed more than 400 million years ago were then synthesized, expressed, and their structures determined using X-ray crystallography, a state-of-the art technique that allows scientists to see the atomic architecture of a molecule. The project represents the first time the technique has been applied to an ancient protein.

The structures allowed the scientists to identify exactly how the new function evolved. They found that just seven historical mutations, when introduced into the ancestral receptor gene in the lab, recapitulated the evolution of GR's present-day response to cortisol. They were even able to deduce the order in which these changes occurred, because some mutations caused the protein to lose its function entirely if other "permissive" changes, which otherwise had a negligible effect on the protein, were not in place first.

"These permissive mutations are chance events. If they hadn't happened first, then the path to the new function could have become an evolutionary road not taken," Thornton said. "Imagine if evolution could be rewound and set in motion again: a very different set of genes, functions and processes might be the outcome."

The atomic structure revealed exactly how these mutations allowed the new function to evolve. The most radical one remodeled a whole section of the protein, bringing a group of atoms close to the hormone. A second mutation in this repositioned region then created a tight new interaction with cortisol
'/>"/>

Contact: Zack Barnett
zbarnett@uoregon.edu
541-346-3145
University of Oregon
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Wisconsin scientists grow critical nerve cells
2. Scientists ID molecular switch in liver that triggers harmful effects of saturated and trans fats
3. UCSB scientists probe sea floor venting to gain understanding of early life on Earth
4. UAB scientists discover the origin of a mysterious physical force
5. Fox Chase Cancer Center scientists identify immune-system mutation
6. Scientists Replicate Hepatitis C Virus in Laboratory
7. Scientists detect probable genetic cause of some Parkinsons disease cases
8. Scientists find missing enzyme for tuberculosis iron scavenging pathway
9. Scientists seek answers on what activates deadly anthrax spores
10. Yale Scientists Find MicroRNA Regulates Ras Cancer Gene
11. Scientists collaborate to assess health of global environment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/11/2014)... researchers from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, BGI ... soybean linked to salt tolerance, with implication for improving ... study published online in Nature Communications provides ... crop improvement. , Soybean is an important crop for ... soybeans have less genetic diversities than their wild counterparts. ...
(Date:7/11/2014)... Researchers have pioneered a revolutionary new way to ... Virtual Finger, allows scientists to move through digital ... using the flat surface of their computer screens. ... orders of magnitude more efficient, saving time, money ... areas of experimental biology. The software and its ...
(Date:7/11/2014)... cannabinoid receptor type 1 can inhibit voltage-gated ... reduce neurotransmitter release. However, some scholars demonstrated ... extracellular Ca2+ influx and increase neurotransmitter release. ... Hospital Affiliated to Tongji Medical College, Huazhong ... whole cell voltage-clamp and calcium imaging in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):BGI reports a novel gene for salt tolerance found in wild soybean 2Virtual finger enables scientists to navigate and analyze complex 3D images 2
... for benefiting degenerative diseases, and do so by invoking ... manner compatible with clinical use (i.e., without animal feeder ... were a few of a number of conclusions arrived ... Snyder, M.D., Ph.D., and spearheaded by a member of ...
... ability to discern one sex from another may depend ... nerve cells, and the number of receptors is controlled ... Illinois at Chicago researchers have found. , Everything from ... illnesses such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, post-traumatic ...
... the first large-scale study to evaluate a candidate HIV ... study collaborators in the United States and South Africa. ... five sites throughout South Africa and is expected to ... of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), which is ...
Cached Biology News:Stem cells act through multiple mechanisms to benefit mice with neurodegenerative disease 2Stem cells act through multiple mechanisms to benefit mice with neurodegenerative disease 3Stem cells act through multiple mechanisms to benefit mice with neurodegenerative disease 4Stem cells act through multiple mechanisms to benefit mice with neurodegenerative disease 5Bisexual fruit flies show new role for neurochemical 2Africa's first large-scale HIV vaccine study launches 2Africa's first large-scale HIV vaccine study launches 3Africa's first large-scale HIV vaccine study launches 4
(Date:7/10/2014)... Robert Harman, DVM, Founder and CEO of Vet-Stem, ... announce the relaunch of his highly informative blog, now named ... “ What are Stem Cells ?” Dr. Harman’s purpose ... in the basics of stem cell therapy so that pet ... of treatment when considering regenerative medicine. , A veterinarian by ...
(Date:7/10/2014)... PETERSBURG, Russia , July 10, 2014 ... Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev , presented ... biopharmaceutical company BIOCAD . The Company is developing ... scope of MabNext project BIOCAD develops a number of ... cancer and autoimmune diseases. The ceremony took place at ...
(Date:7/10/2014)... 2014 -- According to the International Atomic Energy ... comes from terrorists acquiring sufficient quantities of plutonium ... crude nuclear explosive device. The IAEA also notes ... involved gram-level quantities, which can be challenging to ... a new study appearing this week in the ...
(Date:7/10/2014)... researchers have observed the fractional quantum Hall effect in ... matter can be tuned by an electric field. ... when electrons confined to thin sheets are exposed to ... behavior where thousands of individual electrons behave as a ... effect is well established, many details of this collective ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Robert Harman, DVM Talks About What Stem Cells are in His Latest Blog Series for Vet-Stem, Inc. 2Robert Harman, DVM Talks About What Stem Cells are in His Latest Blog Series for Vet-Stem, Inc. 3Dmitry Medvedev Presented BIOCAD the First National "Industry" Award 2Sensitive detection method may help impede illicit nuclear trafficking 2Columbia researchers observe tunable quantum behavior in bilayer graphene 2Columbia researchers observe tunable quantum behavior in bilayer graphene 3
... North ... America, DEERFIELD, Ill., ... Cartago, Costa Rica has been,recognized with the 2008 Shingo Prize for Operational ... North America,-- is being honored for its achievements in driving higher quality ...
... announced today it,submitted to the U.S. Food & ... Application (BLA) for motavizumab, an investigational,monoclonal antibody (MAb) ... supported by clinical trial data from more than ... of serious disease,caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) ...
... Unique and Innovative Formulation Available Without a ... Prescription ... today announced the,launch of PSORENT, a clinically proven, steroid-free, ... which has,proven efficacy against psoriasis symptoms, in a novel, ...
Cached Biology Technology:Baxter's Costa Rica Facility Recognized With Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing 2MedImmune Submits Biologics License Application to FDA for Motavizumab 2MedImmune Submits Biologics License Application to FDA for Motavizumab 3NeoStrata(R) Announces the Launch of PSORENT(TM) Psoriasis Topical Treatment 2