Navigation Links
Scientists solve long-standing plant biochemistry mystery
Date:9/19/2011

UPTON, NY Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborators at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have discovered how an enzyme "knows" where to insert a double bond when desaturating plant fatty acids. Understanding the mechanism which relies on a single amino acid far from the enzyme's active site solves a 40-year mystery of how these enzymes exert such location-specific control. The work, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of September 19, 2011, may lead to new ways to engineer plant oils as a renewable replacement for petrochemicals.

"Plant fatty acids are an approximately $150-billion-dollar-a-year market," said Brookhaven biochemist John Shanklin, lead author on the paper. "Their properties, and therefore their potential uses and values, are determined by the position of double bonds in the hydrocarbon chains that make up their backbones. Thus the ability to control double bond positions would enable us to make new designer fatty acids that would be useful as industrial raw materials."

The enzymes responsible for double-bond placement, called desaturases, remove hydrogen atoms and insert double bonds between adjacent carbon atoms at specific locations on the hydrocarbon chains. But how one enzyme knows to insert the double bond at one location while a different but closely related enzyme inserts a double bond at a different site has been a mystery.

"Most enzymes recognize features in the molecules they act on that are very close to the site where the enzyme's action takes place. But all the carbon-hydrogen groups that make up fatty-acid backbones are very similar with no distinguishing features it's like a greasy rope with nothing to hold onto," said Shanklin.

In describing his group's long-standing quest to solve the desaturation puzzle, Shanklin quotes Nobel laureate Konrad Bloch, who observed more than 40 years ago th
'/>"/>

Contact: Karen McNulty Walsh
kmcnulty@bnl.gov
631-344-8350
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Online gamers succeed where scientists fail, opening door to new AIDS drug design
2. Gamers succeed where scientists fail
3. Climate scientists will shed new light on climate change mitigation
4. Sea smarts: Scientists reconstruct evolutionary history of mollusks
5. TUM scientists document aquatic species decline at dams and weirs
6. Scientists concerned about pesticide education funding
7. Scientists utilise breath and sweat to detect trapped humans
8. USC scientists generate first detailed map of human neuroreceptor
9. USC scientists probe connection between sight and touch in the brain
10. Biomedical/health informatics scientists to present cutting-edge science, health IT
11. Scientists offer way to address age-old questions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/18/2014)... mass is made up of rangelands, which include grasslands ... alarming rate. Woody plants, such as trees and shrubs, ... loss of critical habitat and causing a drastic change ... specifically meat. , Researchers with Arizona State University,s ... this loss in both the United States and Argentina. ...
(Date:8/18/2014)... Denmark, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, have developed a ... both climate and land use change. This new metric was ... of combined rates of climate and land use for the ... have just been published in Nature Climate Change , ... biodiversity and ecosystem function due to the individual or combined ...
(Date:8/18/2014)... with the pygmy phenotype is probably a selective ... team of researchers, but all African pygmy phenotypes ... a more recent adaptation than previously thought., "I,m ... their very challenging environments," said George H. Perry, ... "Tropical rainforests are difficult for humans to live ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Trees and shrubs invading critical grasslands, diminish cattle production 2Trees and shrubs invading critical grasslands, diminish cattle production 3The double threat of climate and land use change enhances risks to biodiversity 2Pygmy phenotype developed many times, adaptive to rainforest 2
... flowers have shifted away from using insects as pollinators and ... birds. In a study published in New Phytologist ... for the first time that Australian native flowers exclusively pollinated ... discriminated by those birds. Dr Adrian Dyer of Monash ...
... Institutet in Sweden have found an explanation for why ... the brains of people with schizophrenia or bipolar disease ... scientific periodical Molecular Psychiatry , identifies a gene ... discovery contributes to the further understanding of the link ...
... of birds, schools of fish, and groups of any other ... aquatic microorganisms, Andrea Giometto, a researcher EPFL and Eawag, showed ... according to the same mathematical expression, where the only unknown ... His article was published in in PNAS in ...
Cached Biology News:For birds, red means 'go' 2New gene variant may explain psychotic features in bipolar disorder 2One law to rule them all -- sizes within a species appear to follow a universal distribution 2
(Date:8/18/2014)... 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - SQI Diagnostics Inc. (TSX-V: SQD), a ... and products for advanced microarray diagnostics, today announced it ... 22 at 2:00 pm ET.  During ... a brief review of SQI,s recent commercialization progress and ... industry veteran recently appointed to the Board of Directors ...
(Date:8/18/2014)... WASHINGTON , Aug. 18, 2014   Sterne, ... law firm in Washington, DC , ... Inter Partes Review (IPR) with the U.S. ... Inc., a subsidiary of BioReference Laboratories, Inc. (Nasdaq: BRLI). ... co-owned, or licensed by Myriad Genetics, Inc. These patents ...
(Date:8/18/2014)... HIV Infection Drug Market and Pipeline Insight is a ... infection and the number of deaths due to AIDS has ... the globe. It has been estimated that the death rate ... with the rates for children being even much lower. A ... has been the improved access to antiretroviral drugs and therapy ...
(Date:8/18/2014)... 2014 According to the ... Application (Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Industrial Wastewater Treatment), ... Tubular), By Configuration (Internal/Submerged and External/Sidestream), and By ... The market for membrane bioreactor systems is projected ... a CAGR of 15.28% between 2014 and 2019. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:SQI Diagnostics Announces Investor Conference Call with Dr. Allan Pronovost 2SQI Diagnostics Announces Investor Conference Call with Dr. Allan Pronovost 3Sterne Kessler Files 11 IPR Petitions On Behalf Of GeneDx, Inc., Subsidiary Of BioReference Laboratories, Inc. 2Sterne Kessler Files 11 IPR Petitions On Behalf Of GeneDx, Inc., Subsidiary Of BioReference Laboratories, Inc. 3Global HIV Infection Drug Market Overview 2Global HIV Infection Drug Market Overview 3Global HIV Infection Drug Market Overview 4Membrane Bioreactor Systems Market Worth $2,927 Million by 2019 2Membrane Bioreactor Systems Market Worth $2,927 Million by 2019 3
... SAN DIEGO, Nov. 4 ADVENTRX Pharmaceuticals,Inc. (Amex: ... President,Operations of ADVENTRX, is scheduled to present at the ... is scheduled to present,on Tuesday, November 11th, 2008 at ... takes place November 10-12, 2008 at the,Palace Hotel in ...
... patients, in only 75 minutes using Cepheid,s ... Dorset County Hospital (DCH) is,working hard to reduce ... enhanced MRSA surveillance. As part of the programme, DCH ... hospitals to identify patients who carry the bacteria on ...
... DURECT Corporation,(Nasdaq: DRRX ) announced today financial results ... were $6.6 million for the three months,ended September 30, ... in,2007. Net loss for the three months ended September ... of $7.9 million for the same period in,2007., ...
Cached Biology Technology:Dorset County Hospital Enhances MRSA Surveillance Programme Through Rapid Patient Screening 2Dorset County Hospital Enhances MRSA Surveillance Programme Through Rapid Patient Screening 3DURECT Corporation Announces Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results 2DURECT Corporation Announces Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results 3DURECT Corporation Announces Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results 4DURECT Corporation Announces Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results 5DURECT Corporation Announces Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results 6DURECT Corporation Announces Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results 7DURECT Corporation Announces Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results 8
... Early Drug Development with Imaging Mass Spectrometry ... compound localization data in early drug development ... spectrometry service maps unlabeled ions ... you can localize drugs and metabolites prior ...
... The AccuSpot automates LC micro-fractionation, ... With the AccuSpot system, LC eluent ... onto target plates, in trace amounts. ... target plates for MALDI-TOF-MS measurements. When ...
... The JNK (c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase) ... three identified MAP kinase pathways in ... response to environmental stress, is associated ... itself, and is implicated in the ...
... knockdown of all human, mouse, and ... Genomewide, predesigned siRNAs for a ... , Ready-to-use, convenient matching solutions for ... Cost-effective RNAi and downstream analysis ...
Biology Products: