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Scientists uncover how hormones achieve their effects
Date:10/22/2007

by which the signal is transmitted through the interior of the cell.

Knop and his team revealed that the actual signal is not produced uniformly throughout the cell but only by the few chain components found in the mating projection. They activate a protein called Fus3, which diffuses into the centre of the cell to spread the signal. While travelling, however, Fus3 is constantly inactivated by proteins found in the interior of the cell.

We found that the concentration of Fus3 activity is very high at the tip of the developing mating organ and then gradually gets less towards the centre of the cell, says Celine Maeder, who carried out the research in Knops lab. This sets up a gradient of Fus3 activity, which might allow the signal to have different effects in different parts of the cell.

This result is exciting, concludes former EMBL group leader Philippe Bastiaens, who now is a director at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology. It revolutionizes our understanding of signalling processes and the way we need to study them. The MAP kinase signalling chain is conserved across species, and the insights gained in yeast contribute to a better understanding of a pathway also relevant to human biology and disease.


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Contact: Anna-Lynn Wegener
wegener@embl.de
0049-622-138-7452
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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