Navigation Links
Scripps Research scientists expand knowledge of cell process involved in many diseases

JUPITER, FL, August 16, 2001 As part of a joint research effort with the University of Michigan, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have for the first time defined the structure of one of the cell's most basic engines, which is required for cell growth, as it assembles from its components.

The study reveals a series of redundant mechanisms that assure production of these critical structures while avoiding any missteps that could lead to their destruction or to the production of incorrect cellular building blocks. These findings throw new light on a process that is integrally involved in a number of disease states, including cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

The study, published on August 11, 2011, in the advance online edition of the prestigious journal Science, reveals the structure of an assembly intermediate of the small ribosomal subunit.

Ribosomes, which are large macromolecular machines required for cell growth in all organisms, catalyze the production of proteins in all cells. They read the genetic code carried by messenger RNA, and then catalyze or translate that code into proteins within cells, assembling them from amino acids.

Understanding the process of ribosome assemblywhich involves almost 200 essential proteins known as "assembly factors" in addition to the four RNA molecules and 78 ribosomal proteins that are part of the mature ribosomeis a potentially fruitful area of research because of the importance of ribosome assembly for cell growth. The link between defects in ribosome assembly and cancer clearly points to this pathway as a new target for anti-cancer drugs.

In the current study, the scientists used cryo-electron microscopy (where samples are studied at temperatures of � C) to image the 40S ribosome structure.

"This is the best-defined ribosomal assembly intermediate we have ever had with true structural information on the location of each assembly factor," said Katrin Karbstein, an associate professor at Scripps Florida and one of the senior authors of the study. "It will be helpful in determining what's going on in what is still a relatively unknown process."

While most ribosome assembly takes place in the nucleolus, a protein-nucleic acid structure inside the nucleus, the final maturation process occurs in the cytoplasm, the "general" cellular compartment where protein translation occurs. In the cytoplasm, these pre-mature ribosomal subunits encounter large pools of mature subunits, messenger RNA, and various translation factors.

This cellular stew presents a unique challenge, especially keeping the translation process from acting on the subunits prematurely, which would result in their rapid degradation or in the production of incorrectly assembled proteins, both processes with potentially lethal outcomes for the cell.

The new study shows that that the bound assembly factors cooperate with one another in a highly redundant and multi-pronged approach to prevent such occurrences, chaperoning the pre-40S subunits to keep them from falling victim to the translational apparatus.

"We had thought the role of assembly factors was to help mature this intermediate form of the ribosome," said Karbstein. "But our new research has shown that these assembly factors also prevent a number of unwanted things from happening. If one of these intermediate forms were to bind prematurely to a messenger RNA, there could be no protein produced, or worse, a wrong protein might be produced and that could lead to early cell death."

It's important to note that this is a single snapshot of the late-stage assembly process, Karbstein added. "We know better how the process works but this is by no means a final statement," she said.


Contact: Mika Ono
Scripps Research Institute

Related biology news :

1. Scripps Research scientists create vaccine against heroin high
2. Scripps Research scientists solve mystery of nerve disease genes
3. Scripps awarded $7.9 million NIH grant for research to find root cause of heart attack
4. Scripps study finds plastic in 9 percent of garbage patch fishes
5. Scripps Research Institute Scientist Knighted by Italian Republic
6. Scripps Research team sheds new light on how blood clots form
7. Scripps Research scientists awarded $2.2 million to develop treatment for multi-drug addiction
8. Scripps Research scientist wins $1.9 million grant to study malaria
9. Scripps Research scientists find way to block stress-related cell death
10. Scripps Research scientists find key mechanism in transition to alcohol dependence
11. Scripps Research scientists create new genetic model of premature aging diseases
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Scripps Research scientists expand knowledge of cell process involved in many diseases
(Date:10/29/2015)... health pioneer, Joseph C. Kvedar , MD, describes ... wellness, and the business opportunities that arise from it ... Healthy Things . Long before health and wellness ... vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, was creating a ... the hospital or doctor,s office into the day-to-day lives ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... Oct. 27, 2015 In the present market ... concern for various industry verticals such as banking, healthcare, ... the growing demand for secure & simplified access control ... such as hacking of bank accounts, misuse of users, ... such as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are expected to ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... adds Biometrics Market Shares, Strategies ... well as Emerging Biometrics Technologies: Global ... its collection of IT and Telecommunications ... --> . ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ) today announced ... conference, and invited investors to participate via webcast. ... December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time ... December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time ... York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... year and one of the premier annual events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: 2015 Annual ... November 2015, where ISPE hosted the largest number of attendees in more than ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... This fall, global software solutions leader SAP and AdVenture Capital brought together dozens ... BIG ideas to improve health and wellness in their schools. , Now, the top ... of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid trip to Super Bowl 50, and an ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: TIKRF) today announced that its ... at 11:00 a.m. Israel time, at the law ... Allon Street, 36 th Floor, Tel Aviv, Israel ... and Izhak Tamir to the Board of Directors; ... directors; , approval of an amendment to certain terms of options ...
Breaking Biology Technology: