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:6/15/2016)... , June 15, 2016 ... market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global ... 2016 - 2024". According to the report, the  global ... billion in 2015 and is estimated to grow ... 48.56 billion by 2024.  Increasing application ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii Inc. and ... business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ ... project. This collaboration will result in greater convenience ... credit union, while maintaining existing document workflow and ... ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: IBM ... which consumers will be able to interact with IBM Watson ... or text and receive relevant information about the product or ... long sought an advertising solution that can create a one-to-one ... valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions and touchpoints. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , ... compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced ... granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food ... gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin ... to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed ... to serve as their official health care provider. ... will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and ... volunteers, athletes and families. "We are ... and to bring Houston Methodist quality services and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that asks ... systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at the ... York City . The teams, chosen ... MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. Keynote ... of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today announced ... has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I am thrilled ... COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific integrator, Hays ...
Breaking Biology Technology: