Navigation Links
UNC scientists solve mystery of how largest cellular motor protein powers movement

Scientists now understand how an important protein converts chemical energy to mechanical force, thus powering the process of cell division, thanks to a new structural model by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers.

The structural model helps solve a scientific mystery: how the protein dynein fuels itself to perform cellular functions vital to life. These functions include mitosis, or cell division into identical cells.

Dynein uses energy derived from ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, a molecule that is the principal form of energy for cells. The lack of a comprehensive and detailed molecular structure for dynein has kept scientists largely in the dark about how the protein converts ATP into mechanical force, said Dr. Nikolay V. Dokholyan, assistant professor of biochemistry and biophysics in the UNC School of Medicine.

Dokholyan said the dynein puzzle is similar to figuring out how auto engines make cars move.

“You have an engine up front that burns gas, but we didn’t know how the wheels are made to move.?

Dr. Timothy Elston, associate professor of pharmacology and director of the School of Medicine’s bioinformatics and computational biology program, explains further. “One of the unknowns about dynein was that the molecular site where chemical energy is initially released from ATP is very far away from where the mechanical force occurs. The mechanical force must be transmitted over a large distance.?

The study was published online Nov. 22 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition. The work was supported in part by grants from the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the American Heart Association.

Using a variety of modeling techniques that allowed resolution at the level of atoms, Adrian W.R. Serohijos, a graduate student in Dokholyan’s lab and first author of the study, identified a flexible, spring-like “coiled-coil?region within dynein. It couples the motor protein to the distant ATP site.

“This dynein coiled-coil was completely missing from all previous studies. We saw it could allow a very rapid transduction of chemical energy into mechanical energy,?Dokholyan said.

Conversion to mechanical energy allows dynein to transport cellular structures such as mitochondria that perform specific jobs such as energy generation, protein production and cell maintenance. Dynein also helps force apart chromosomes during cell division.

“Dividing cells must separate their chromosomes and something has to generate the force to move chromosomes apart. Dynein provides the mechanical energy to do that,?Doholyan said.

While the research offers no immediate application to human disease, the authors noted that mutations of dynein have been implicated in some neurodegenerative and kidney disorders. Dokholyan pointed out that disruption of dynein’s interaction with a particular regulator protein causes defects in nerve cell transmission and mimics the symptoms of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).


'"/>

Source:University of North Carolina School of Medicine


Related biology news :

1. Wisconsin scientists grow critical nerve cells
2. UCSB scientists probe sea floor venting to gain understanding of early life on Earth
3. UAB scientists discover the origin of a mysterious physical force
4. Fox Chase Cancer Center scientists identify immune-system mutation
5. Weizmann Institute scientists develop a new approach for directing treatment to metastasized prostate cancer in the bones.
6. U-M scientists find genes that control growth of common skin cancer
7. UCLA scientists transform HIV into cancer-seeking missile
8. RNA project to create language for scientists worldwide
9. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop tool that uses MRI to visualize gene expression in living animals
10. To control germs, scientists deploy tiny agents provocateurs
11. Leprosy microbes lead scientists to immune discovery
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/2/2017)... YORK , Feb. 2, 2017  EyeLock LLC, ... released a new white paper " What You Should ... The problem of ensuring user authenticity is a growing ... the authentication of users. However, traditional authentication schemes such ... Biometric authentication offers an elegant solution ...
(Date:1/26/2017)... 2017  Crossmatch, a leading provider of security and ... at combatting fraud, waste and abuse in assistance operations ... Action on Disaster Relief conference in Panama ... agencies and foreign assistance organizations throughout Latin ... are a largely unacknowledged problem in the foreign assistance ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... , Jan. 23, 2017  The latest mobile ... smartphone prices have dropped dramatically. The quarterly average price ... 2013 to $276 in Q4 2016.  There are now ... price of $116, up from just 28 a year ... According to Maxine Most , Acuity Market ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/18/2017)... DUBLIN , Feb 17, 2017 Research ... Global Strategic Business Report" report to their offering. ... The report provides separate ... Europe , and Rest of World. Annual estimates and ... six-year historic analysis is provided for these markets. Market data and ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... MILPITAS, Calif. , Feb. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... posters detailing data on its oral peptide drug ... Congress of the European Crohn,s and Colitis ... in Barcelona, Spain from ... The posters detail preclinical data on Protagonist drug ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... 16, 2017  MDNA Life Sciences Inc. (MDNA), ... liquid biopsy tests based on the mitochondrial genome, ... license agreement with its first international commercial partner, ... test for prostate cancer, the Prostate Mitomic Test ... This is the first overseas appointment for MDNA ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... BEACH, Florida , February 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... improving with the infusion of innovative telemedicine application, ... monitoring services that are experiencing a boom worldwide. ... with the advancement of technologies, services and new ... Inc. (OTC: RQHTF) (TSX-V: RHT), Cellectar Biosciences, Inc. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: