Navigation Links
Molecular motor works by detecting minute changes in force
Date:7/9/2008

PHILADELPHIA - Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine discovered that the activity of a specific family of nanometer-sized molecular motors called myosin-I is regulated by force. The motor puts tension on cellular springs that allow vibrations to be detected within the body. This finely tuned regulation has important implications for understanding a wide variety of basic cellular processes, including hearing and balance and glucose uptake in response to insulin. The findings appear in the most recent issue of Science.

"This is the first demonstration that myosin-I shows such dramatic sensitivity to tension," says senior author E. Michael Ostap, Ph.D., Associate Director, Pennsylvania Muscle Institute and Associate Professor of Physiology. "It is surprising that a molecular motor can sense such small changes in force."

Myosin-I is a biological motor that uses the chemical energy made by cells to ferry proteins within cells and to generate force, powering the movement of molecular cargos in nearly all cells.

In two specific cases, myosin I puts tension on the specialized spring-like structures in human ears that enable hearing and maintenance of balance, and also has a role in delivering the proteins that pump glucose into cells in response to insulin. "However, why a tension-sensing molecular motor is needed for this function is unknown," says Ostap.

In collaboration with Henry Shuman, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiology, the research team used optical tweezers -- a combination focused laser beam and microscope, of sorts -- to measure incredibly small forces and movements (on the piconewton and nanometer level) to discover that myosin I motors are regulated by force. The motors pull on their cellular cargos until a certain tension is attained, after which they stop moving, but will hold the tension. If something happens in the cell to decrease this tension, the motor will restart its activity and will restore the lost tension.

Myosins use the energy from ATP to generate force and motion. Humans have 40 myosin genes that sort into 12 myosin families. Members of the myosin family have been found in every type of cell researchers have examined. The Ostap lab is investigating the biochemical properties of several members of the myosin family to better understand movement in cells, which is important in development, wound healing, the immune response, and the spread of cancer, among other functions. These new findings shed light on the role of myosin I in cells, supporting the notion that this molecular motor is more important in generating and sustaining tension rather than transporting protein cargo.

The research team will now apply these results to better understand how cells use these tension sensors to carry out their physiological functions.


'/>"/>

Contact: Karen Kreeger
karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5658
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. A new molecular zip code, and a new drug target for Huntingtons disease
2. New knock-out gene model provides molecular clues to breast cancer
3. Molecular probe paints cancer cells in living animals, Stanford researchers find
4. Story ideas from molecular & cellular proteomics
5. SNM seeks novel approaches to molecular imaging to showcase at annual meeting
6. SNM seeks novel approaches to molecular imaging to showcase at annual meeting
7. Molecular fingerprint of breast-cancer drug resistance can predict response to treatment
8. Molecular profiling can accurately predict survival in colon cancer patients
9. Xceed Molecular Names Fran Tuttle to Its Board of Trustees
10. Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust and Flinn Foundation launch molecular diagnostics initiative
11. Xceed Molecular Launches Ziplex(R) Automated Gene-Expression System at the Association for Molecular Pathology, Booth 84/85
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... Flottman Company ... outserts. As a means of expanding capabilities Flottman has added a G&K ... individually code professional inserts (PIs) and patient package inserts (PPIs) that will marry ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... Hills, CA (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2016 ... ... for young adults, celebrated its 10th anniversary with the grand opening of the ... California. The successful event spanned two days, December 2-3, and was attended by ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... Fort Lee, NJ (PRWEB) , ... December 09, ... ... the 2016 Founders Ball at The Pierre Hotel in New York, NY, on ... 700 friends, benefactors, dignitaries and physicians attended the annual event, which raised over ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... The Pennsylvania Athletic ... (PCN) during the summer of 2016. The program was made possible by a ... States Department of Health and Human Services Administration. The broadcast, Use Your ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... After ... officially opened registration today for its 33rd Annual Issues & Research Conference, ... , The theme of the conference is “Persistent Challenges and New Opportunities: Using ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... , Dec. 9, 2016 Department of Health ... regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries under Act 16 are ... , and are now available online . ... in the plan for operation; process for dispensing medical ... well as where the dispensary facilities can be located," ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016 Australia Glaucoma ... GlobalData,s new report, "Australia Glaucoma Surgery Devices ... on the Australia Glaucoma Surgery Devices market. The ... volume (in units) and average prices (USD) within ... report also provides company shares and distribution shares ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... KEY FINDINGS North America ... 2016 and is expected to continue in the near ... number of surgical procedures that are taking place in ... patient temperature management market.) Patient warming and cooling devices ... during surgeries, lowering the risks of neurological disorders post ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: