Navigation Links
Simple fungus reveals clue to immune system protection
Date:4/21/2011

A discovery by Johns Hopkins scientists about how a single-celled fungus survives in low-oxygen settings may someday help humans whose immune systems are compromised by organ transplants or AIDS.

A report on the discovery in a yeast called Schizosaccharomyces pombe appears April 22 in Molecular Cell.

Previous work by the Hopkins team showed that Schizosaccharomyces pombe, a model organism that's often used to study individual genes, contains a protein named Sre1 that allows the organism to adapt to conditions in which oxygen is very low or missing altogether.

To find out what regulates Sre1, the researchers turned to their collection of 2,626 individual strains of fission yeast, each of which is modified to lack a different gene from the organism's genome. First, they subjected each of the mutant strains to low-oxygen conditions and identified 28 genes whose absence stopped the yeast from growing. Four of the mutants regained their ability to grow in low oxygen when the scientists added back Sre1.

"Unless something removes it, Sre1 stays attached to the cell membrane and therefore is unable to travel to the nucleus to do its job," says Peter J. Espenshade, Ph.D., an associate professor of physiology and member of the Center for Metabolism and Obesity Research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "Only when cut and released from the membrane can SRE1 go to work."

To find that cutting mechanism, the researchers examined the four mutant yeast strains, looking for evidence of the molecular machinery that allows the short, active "business part" of Sre1 to make its way to the nucleus of the cell to turn on genes. Cells that can't cut Sre1 to activate it look and fare just like those that are completely missing it, Espenshade says.

The team identified four genes called defective for Sre cleavage (dsc 1-4) and showed that they are responsible for making the protein components of the cutting mechanism a so-called Dsc E3 ligase complex that resides in a compartment of the cell called the Golgi.

Sre1 is required for virulence in disease-causing fungi such as Aspergillus fumigatus, which ravage people whose immune systems have been weakened by cancer or infections. The dsc 1-4 genes, according to Espenshade, are conserved in Aspergillus as well as a number of other fungi that cause a range of diseases.

"Our studies suggest that dsc proteins are an attractive target for the development of new drugs to combat fungal infections in immune compromised people," Espenshade says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Maryalice Yakutchik
myakutc1@jhmi.edu
443-287-2251
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Diversity of trees in Ecuadors Amazon rainforest defies simple explanation
2. Simple chemical procedure augments therapeutic potential of stem cells
3. A simple fusion to jump-start evolution
4. Artificial cells, simple model for complex structure
5. Simple test helps predict heart attack risk
6. Pitt-led researchers create quick, simple fluorescent detector for TB
7. Author says challenging simple concepts can save planet
8. Simple drug treatment may prevent nicotine-induced SIDS: Study
9. New blood tests promise simple, cost-effective diagnosis of gastrointestinal cancers
10. Scientists take step toward simple and portable tuberculosis tests for developing world
11. Simple test could offer cheap solution to detecting landmines
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2016)... A market that just keeps on growing. Molecular Diagnostics ... genomics knowledge. Learn all about it in this new ... trends are pushing market growth and company valuations. Trends ... pathogen evolution - next generation sequencing - emergence of ... the role of genetic material in Disease and Health ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... ALBANY, New York , January 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Transparency Market Research has published a new market report ... Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2015 - 2023. According to ... mn in 2014 and is anticipated to reach US$1,625.8 ... from 2015 to 2023. In terms of volume, the ...
(Date:1/8/2016)... January 8, 2016 NXTD ), ... WorldVentures ® , a privately held leading direct seller ... Inc. 5000 fastest-growing company announced that on December ... $2 million in Nxt-ID to develop a proprietary new ... Wocket ® , a unique smart wallet that serves ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... BATH, England , February 8, 2016 ... Genetics Ltd ("Atlas Genetics" or the "Company"), the ultra-rapid Point-Of-Care ... approval to CE Mark its Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) test to ... requirements of the IVD Directive (98/79/EC), the CT test is ... --> --> The launch of the ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... DIEGO , Feb. 5, 2016 On ... region,s trusted information source for community, health and disaster ... Diego) will integrate to enhance care coordination and ... to the services they need and to better connect ... improve care.   San Diego ...
(Date:2/4/2016)...  Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGMO ), the ... Edward Lanphier , Sangamo,s president and chief executive officer, ... ZFP Therapeutic ® development programs and an overview ... on Thursday, February 11, 2016, at the Leerink Partners ... is being held in New York ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... MENLO PARK, Calif. , Feb. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... "Company"), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization ... at the 18 th Annual BIO CEO & ... a.m. EST in New York, NY . ... will provide an update on the ongoing clinical trial of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: