Navigation Links
Study reveals how cells destroy faulty proteins in cystic fibrosis

The cellular system that degrades faulty proteins created by the cystic fibrosis gene has been identified by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientists. Turning off the degradation system allows some proteins to regain their proper shape, offering a new avenue for treatments aimed at curing the disease.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a fatal disease caused by a defective gene that produces a misshapen form of the protein cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). People with cystic fibrosis do not have enough CFTR for their cells to work normally because their bodies quickly destroy the mutant protein.

"Most cases of CF are caused by the inability of faulty CFTR to get in the correct shape, which leads cells to place it in the trash bin," said senior author Dr. Douglas Cyr, professor of cell and developmental biology at UNC School of Medicine. "Our research helps define the basic mechanism for CF and identify targets for the development of therapeutics designed to get CFTR into shape and allow it function normally in the lung," Cyr said.

The results, published Aug. 11, 2006, in the journal Cell, point to several possible targets for the development of new treatments aimed at stopping the disease, the researchers said.

Scientists have known for some time that treatment of cultured cells with compounds known as chemical chaperones can increase the fitness of misshaped CFTR and get it into proper shape. Thus, "If we can figure out how to get CFTR into the right shape, we can cure the disease," Cyr said.

To better understand how to fix CFTR, Cyr's research team at the UNC Cystic Fibrosis Pulmonary Research and Treatment Center focused on identifying the cellular system that disposes of faulty CFTR. The investigators identified cell components that specifically recognizes misshapen CFTR and drops it in the molecular trash bin. The team found that turning off these components ?the cell's trash coll ectors -- extends the life of faulty CFTR proteins and thereby enables some of it to assume a functional shape.

The trash collectors newly identified by the Cyr group are two different ubiquitin ligases, proteins that specifically recognize misshaped regions of CFTR and tag them with a degradation signal known as ubiquitin. The ubiquitin tag tells the cell to destroy the marked CFTR, a process overseen by a destroyer called the proteasome. This trash system is known as the ubiquitin proteasome pathway.

"We've identified the trash collectors that recognize misfolded proteins, decide if they might be toxic to the cell and mark them with ubiquitin. The ubiquitinated proteins, including faulty CFTR, are then degraded or shredded by the proteasome," Cyr said.

"Understanding this pathway gives us greater insight into what's wrong with the protein -- information that will help people design better therapeutics for the disease," Cyr said.


Source:University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Related biology news :

1. Novel Asthma Study Shows Multiple Genetic Input Required; Single-gene Solution Shot Down
2. Emory Study Tests Bone Marrow Stem Cells to Improve Circulation in Legs
3. UCLA Study Shows One-Third of Drug Ads in Medical Journals Do Not Contain References Supporting Medical Claims
4. Study Demonstrates Gene Expression Microarrays are Comparable and Reproducible
5. Study Links Ebola Outbreaks To Animal Carcasses
6. Breakthrough Microarray-based Technology for the Study of Cancer
7. NYU Study Reveals How Brains Immune System Fights Viral Encephalitis
8. Study finds more than one-third of human genome regulated by RNA
9. Leukemia Drug Breakthrough Study In New England Journal Of Medicine
10. Study identifies predictors of HIV drug resistance in patients beginning triple therapy
11. New Study from Affymetrix Laboratories Points to Changing View of How Genome Works
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/4/2015)... November 4, 2015 --> ... report published by Transparency Market Research "Home Security Solutions Market ... Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global home security solutions market is ... by 2022. The market is estimated to expand at ... 2015 to 2022. Rising security needs among customers at ...
(Date:10/29/2015)...   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical ... research, is pleased to announce that it has been ... one of only three finalists for a 2015 ... Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor Minnesota ... innovation and leadership. iMedNet™ eClinical ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, a ... that it has released a new version of its ... in North America have already ... v4.0 also includes a FIDO UAF certified server ... already preparing to activate FIDO features. These customers include ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... Accutest Research Laboratories, a leading ... Organization (CRO), has formed a strategic ... - Temple Health for joint work ... (Photo: ) , --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE MKT: PIP) announced  today that ... plan (Rights Plan) in an effort to preserve the ... Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). ... of its NOLs could be substantially limited if the ... 382 of the Code. In general, an ownership change ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... HOLLISTON, Mass. , Nov. 25, 2015 ... a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ implants for life-threatening ... will present at the LD Micro "Main Event" investor ... PT. The presentation will be webcast live and posted ... also be available at the conference for one-on-one meetings ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... IN (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... (AMA) and the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with ... and other AMA team leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: