Navigation Links
Sugarcoating fruit fly development
Date:5/29/2009

Proteins are the executive agents that carry out all processes in a cell. Their activity is controlled and modified with the help of small chemical tags that can be dynamically added to and removed from the protein. 25 years after its first discovery, researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg have now gained insight into the role of one of these tags, a small sugar residue, that is found on many different proteins across species. In the current online issue of Science they report that the addition of this sugar tag to proteins in the nucleus of a cell is vital for normal development in fruit flies.

Over 25 years ago scientists discovered that many proteins in the nucleus and cytoplasm have a small sugar molecule, called GlcNAc, attached to them. The enzyme that adds this sugar is called Ogt but since its discovery it has remained elusive why attaching GlcNAc to proteins is important. Researchers in the group of Jrg Mller at EMBL have now discovered that flies lacking Ogt show dramatic developmental defects. In the absence of Ogt cells do not develop into the appropriate cell types and body segments do not differentiate according to plan.

"Expressing the right genes at the right time is critical for a developing organism," says Jrg Mller. "It is the appropriate combination of genes that tells a cell to turn into muscle, nerve or skin. This is why a tight control system regulates gene expression throughout development."

One important component of this control system is a group of regulatory proteins, called Polycomb proteins. They switch off developmental genes when and where their activity is not needed and thereby prevent the formation of specialised tissues and organs in the wrong places.

The scientists found that in the absence of Ogt, Polycomb proteins are no longer able to inactivate developmental genes. They showed that one specific Polycomb protein, called Polyhomeotic, is modified with the sugar tag by Ogt and might be the link between Ogt and development. Further investigations are necessary to find out how the sugar tag affects the function of Polyhomeotic.

"Our findings were very surprising. GlcNAc has been found on so many different proteins in mammalian cells that we expected many processes to go wrong in a fly lacking Ogt. Instead we see a very specific effect on development in fruit flies that is likely brought about by a single nuclear protein that needs the sugar tag to function properly," says Maria Cristina Gambetta, who carried out the research in Mller's lab.


'/>"/>

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

Related biology news :

1. P[acman]-generated fruit fly gene library: A new research tool
2. Drinking 100 percent fruit juice is associated with lower risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome
3. Caltech researchers train computers to analyze fruit-fly behavior
4. Fruit flies sick from mating
5. Tuning in on cellular communication in the fruit fly
6. Scientists unlock possible aging secret in genetically altered fruit fly
7. When it comes to sleep research, fruit flies and people make unlikely bedfellows
8. Women double fruit, veggie intake with switch to Mediterranean diet plan
9. How eating fruit and vegetables can improve cancer patients response to chemotherapy
10. Substance found in fruits and vegetables reduces likelihood of the flu
11. Biochemists manipulate fruit flavor enzymes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/15/2016)... April 15, 2016  A new partnership announced ... accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction of the ... priced and high-value life insurance policies to consumers ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine ... readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central Florida ... telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi.   ... can routinely track key health measurements, such as blood ... they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians through ... location at no cost. By leveraging this data, IMPOWER ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... 29, 2016 LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: ... and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce our successful ... a variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against ... collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ... DNA. Bill Bollander , CEO states, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/2/2016)... , ... May 02, 2016 , ... StarNet Communications Corp, ... announced the addition of three Secure Remote Desktop modules to its flagship X-Win32 PC ... from Linux and Unix servers to the user’s PC over encrypted SSH. , Traditionally, ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... ... The MIT bioLogic design team has won multiple A' Design Awards ... applied to fabric and formed into living interfaces between body and environment. They found ... team harvested Natto cells and applied them to fabric with custom 3D printers.The cell-infused ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... medical devices used in spinal surgical procedures, today announced the completion of a ... value proposition for current and future customers and partners. Kohlberg & Company, ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... During a two day program for start-up ... CereScan’s CEO, John Kelley, joined other Denver business leaders in providing business basics ... Denver area business community, shared his top fundamental learnings in building an effective, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: