Navigation Links
Atomic structure of essential circadian clock protein complex determined
Date:5/30/2014

Structural biologists have made important progress towards better understanding the functioning of the circadian clock. The circadian or inner clock coordinates the sleep-wake rhythm and many other body processes that regulate, for example, metabolism, blood pressure, and the immune system. A research team led by Professor Eva Wolf, recently appointed Professor of Structural Biology at the Institute of General Botany of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and Adjunct Director at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), has for the first time identified the molecular structure of a protein complex that plays an important role in regulating the circadian rhythm. At the same time, they also made a surprising discovery: The protein complex contains a zinc ion, which apparently stabilizes it. These results could form the basis for new strategies for treating illnesses that are the result of circadian clock dysfunction.

"Our circadian clock controls many important physiological functions," explained Professor Eva Wolf. If the natural rhythm is disrupted, as for example in the case of people on shift work, the likelihood of developing metabolic disorders, diabetes, or cancer is significantly increased. The fundamental research conducted in the Wolf group is focused on obtaining insight into the molecular mechanisms of the circadian clock. Among the currently investigated topics are the cryptochromes, a class of proteins associated with the circadian clock in mammals. In addition to regulating circadian rhythm, these also control glucose homeostasis and blood sugar levels. Together with another clock protein called period they form a complex, the structure of which has just been determined by Wolf's team.

By x-ray analysis of the cryptochrome-period complex structure, the researchers were able to observe atomic details of the interaction between the cryptochrome and period proteins and also discovered that the zinc ion mediates this interaction. "The metal ion stabilizes the complex and also appears to influence an adjacent disulfide bond," clarified Wolf. Cell biological studies conducted in the collaborating group of Prof. Dr. Achim Kramer at the Charite Berlin showed that this also is the case in human cells.

The researchers had not expected to detect a disulfide bond in the presence of the redox state that prevails in the cytoplasm and the cell nucleus. Its existence is probably regulated by the zinc ion and the disulfide bond itself is perhaps a sensor that indicates the metabolic status of the cell.

"We assume that the formation of this cryptochrome-period protein complex provides a mechanism by which the circadian clock interacts with the metabolism, while the zinc ion and the disulfide bond play an important role in regulating the stability of the complex," summarized Wolf. The now Mainz-based biologist hopes that further findings about the basic functioning of the cryptochrome-period complex and her aim of determining the interaction patterns of further clock proteins may help in the development of future medical treatments.


'/>"/>
Contact: Professor Dr. Eva Wolf
evawolf1@uni-mainz.de
49-613-139-21701
Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Global Spectrometry Market (Atomic, Molecular and Mass Spectrometry) – Scenario, Trends, Industry Analysis, Size, Share & Forecast 2011 – 2017
2. Despite missing primary efficacy endpoint, ATOMIC-AHF identifies positive trends
3. Scientists scan the human heart to create digital anatomical library
4. Researchers develop new anatomically based classification for diagnosing cervical spinal stenosis
5. Creatures of habit: Disorders of compulsivity share common pattern and brain structure
6. Being born 4-6 weeks premature can affect brain structure, function
7. Kinesin-5 structure opens cancer drug targets
8. Males and females differ in specific brain structures
9. DNA-built nanostructures safely target, image cancer tumors
10. Brain structure shows who is most sensitive to pain
11. Bacterial Skin and Skin Structure Infections Market: SSSI Pipeline Review, H2 2013 at ReportsnReports.com
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... W.S. Badger Co. Inc ., the maker of ... recognized as one of the best small businesses for new dads by Fatherly, the ... small businesses providing progressive benefits to new parents on the organization’s 2016 Best ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... In response ... many who are unaware of the plight of aphasia. In collaboration with the ... “Stroke Awareness” campaign. , The link between stroke and aphasia is relatively unknown, ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... With a ... medical and food industries. Aside from its GMP accreditation, Validation Center is also ... successfully certified products, services and staff. , Validation Center is ISO17025 accredited and ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... outcomes, hosted members and suppliers for its inaugural Member Conference at the Paris ... mission of elevating the operational health of America’s healthcare providers. , The conference ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Cardiac arrhythmia is ... impact on long-term patient survival, reports a team of UPMC researchers in the ... in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, provide critical information that will ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... New Zealand , May 24, 2016 ... and informatics solutions for the healthcare sector, has been named ... New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards 2016. Dr Bruce ... fantastic acknowledgement for our team.  It,s really good to be ... burden healthcare internationally. Our products are used in 35 countries ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016  Joe Marziani has joined VMS BioMarketing as senior ... executive officer, today. In his new role, Marziani will lead the company,s business development ... professionals to improve outcomes. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160523/371089 ... ... ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... 24, 2016 ... , la première endoprothèse à double thérapie ... l,intervention portant sur les membres inférieurs et ... OrbusNeich, entreprise mondiale spécialisée dans la fourniture ... vie, a élargi son portefeuille pour inclure ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: