Navigation Links
Biochemist uses computer models to study protein involved with cancer, aging and chronic disease
Date:4/13/2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- A new biophysical and biochemical study may lead to better understanding of how structural flexibility controls the interaction of a protein that is closely involved with cancer, aging and other chronic diseases -- thereby facilitating future development of better therapeutic strategies, according to a Kansas State University biochemist.

Jianhan Chen, an assistant professor of biochemistry, was one of the researchers on a collaborative project that took a combined computational and experimental approach to understand how protein p21 functions as a versatile regulator of cell division. Their latest findings, "Intrinsic disorder mediates the diverse regulatory functions of the Cdk inhibitor p21," were published in a recent edition of Nature Chemical Biology.

The study used computer simulation to rationalize results from biochemical and biophysical experiments, and provided further insights that would guide future investigations, Chen said. In this case, the focus is human protein p21 and its ability to function as an inhibitor of normal cell growth.

The protein has been shown to be an intrinsically disordered protein. This means it lacks a well-defined three-dimensional structure, characteristics that, until roughly a decade ago, were thought to be necessary for the protein to function.

"For a long time it was believed that proteins must fold to function and it was hard to imagine how an unfolded protein could play a role in crucial cellular areas," Chen said. "What researchers before me found was that by lacking a stable structure, this actually turned out to be really, really important to how these proteins function."

Along with being an intrinsically disordered protein, p21 is a versatile cyclin-dependent kinase, or Cdk, inhibitor -- meaning it adapts to and inhibits a range of Cdk-cyclin complexes that regulate eukaryote cell division. It also has been connected to cancer and aging. For example, Chen said p21 is a principal trans-activation target of the p53 tumor suppressor protein and contributes to p53-dependent tumor suppression.

"This protein is extremely challenging to study. It's highly dynamic and it's heterogeneous," Chen said. Because of this, mechanistic studies of intrinsically disordered proteins like p21 have been limited. Experiment alone is not sufficient and computer modeling is necessary to provide important missing details, he said. A tight integration of both could lead to a precise understanding of how structural flexibility influences function of p21 and other intrinsically disordered proteins.

"For me this is one of the most interesting IDPs," Chen said. "I'm a theorist and I want to use this system to understand the principles of how this type of proteins can perform their functions. Even though they are disordered, they are not random; there is no chaos. They still have some type of residual structures and certain features which allow function to be controlled in a precise way, and I want to understand the underlying mechanism of how this occurs."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jianhan Chen
jianhanc@k-state.edu
785-532-2518
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Biochemist studies DNA repair with $787,000 in grants
2. UH biochemist works to revolutionize ovarian cancer treatment
3. Breathing easy: LSU biochemists offer first 3-D model of asthma-causing inflammation enzyme
4. Computer reminders for physicians less effective than expected
5. Findatopdoc.com Uses Cutting Edge Technology in Bringing the Leading Physicians of the World Directly to Your Computer For Consumers to Find a Top Doctor
6. Rugged High Bright Touch Screen Computer Designed and Tested for the Most Extreme Environments
7. Harnessing the Web and supercomputers to track pathogens as they evolve
8. Group Mobile adds Unitech Rugged Handheld Computers to its Product Offerings
9. Can Kids Stay Healthy in Front of a Computer? DoCrew.com says Yes
10. Data Devices International Secures Exclusive Worldwide Distribution of the Erase-O-Matic Digital Video and Computer Tape Eraser
11. Computers can effectively detect diabetes-related eye problems
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... Bio-Optronics Inc. ... a modern CTMS workflow designed to seamlessly integrate and streamline the way researchers ... a single page, maximizing usability and improving efficiency significantly for users – a ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... Students interested in video ... Awareness Scholarship competition., The winner will earn a $1,000 scholarship and have his or ... Feb. 1, and the deadline is May 31, with the winner announced on June ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Workrite Ergonomics announced this week the launch ... panel system was designed to deliver the ideal blend of acoustic and visual ... the visual privacy required to maintain concentration levels and increase productivity. The tranquility ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... Allegheny Health Network (AHN) officials today ... access to the Network’s programs and services in the greater Pittsburgh region. Starting January ... will be offered one for that same afternoon. , AHN is ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... Rountree Brady ... services to communities throughout eastern Georgia, is embarking on a charity effort to ... disease kills more Americans every year than anything else, yet risk factors associated ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... Incretin Mimetics/GLP-1 Agonists, SNDRIs, Lipase Inhibitors, Serotonin Receptor Agonists, ... anti-obesity drugs market is expected to grow at a CAGR ... CAGR of 38.7% in the second half of the forecast period. ... from 2016 to 2027. The market is estimated at $1,058 million ... ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... LONDON , January 19, 2017 ... Grothey ; European Oncology & Haematology, 2016;12(Suppl 2):3-8; ... ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151014/276718LOGO) Published recently in ... the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, an article by ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... PALO ALTO, Calif. , Jan. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... scientific research, is excited to announce that the ... Project: Cancer Biology  (RP:CB) have been published in ... science, this project represents the first practical evaluation ... that result in reproducible studies. Unlike other assessments ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: