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:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Infosys ... (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a global ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, fast ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) , ... but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling and ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... and LONDON , April ... part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of ... today announced a partnership to integrate the Onegini ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) ... their customers enhanced security to access and transact ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... DUBAI , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... can be implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system ... in the biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface ... requirements of modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions ... the ID readers into the building installations offer considerable ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading ... was today awarded as one of the World ... world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering ... real world in the nutrition, health and consumer ... with customers including Fortune 500 companies to design ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed medical ... mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving Mesothelioma ... in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help point ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... TORONTO , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon ... the development and commercialization of a portfolio of ... cancers. Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an ... contribute significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is ... treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 ... countries. Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: