Navigation Links
Protein structures give disease clues
Date:2/1/2012

Using some of the most powerful nuclear magnetic resonance equipment available, researchers at the University of California, Davis, are making discoveries about the shape and structure of biological molecules -- potentially leading to new ways to treat or prevent diseases such as breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

The findings appear in the latest issues of the journals Nature and Journal of Biological Chemistry

"These are exquisite three-dimensional objects, and the structures really give insight into how they function in the cell," chemistry professor James Ames said.

Two recently published studies show what the campus can do with its 800-megahertz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, acquired with grant support from the National Science Foundation.

In a paper published online Jan. 29 by the journal Nature, Ames and colleagues at the University of Toronto and the University of Cambridge, England, offer insight into the hot topic of calcium channels, linked to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, among other things.

The researchers described the workings of two protein channels that are similar in structure and function. Inositol triphosphate is the "key" that unlocks the inositol triphosphate receptor, opening a gateway that releases calcium inside the cell. The ryanodine receptor does the same thing when it binds another molecule, ryanodine.

The new three-dimensional view shows that although the sequences of these proteins are different, their structures at the "receptor end" are very similar.

"They are basically superimposable," Ames said. They are also interchangeable if the "receptor end" of one is grafted to the "calcium channel end" of the other, the receptor still functions.

Researchers hope that understanding how inositol triphosphate triggers calcium flows, and how that process might be boosted or blocked, will lead to new ways to treat neurodegenerative diseases.

Calcium also features in a paper published Jan. 23 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Ames, David Sacks at the National Institutes of Health, and their colleagues show how a molecule called calmodulin, which is sensitive to calcium, interacts with the estrogen receptor.

When activated with the right amount of calcium, one calmodulin protein attaches to two estrogen receptors and draws them into a bear hug. That structure, or dimer, is then sensitive to the estrogen's attaching to another part of the molecule. In the right amounts, the combination of estrogen, calmodulin and calcium allows the estrogen receptor to attach to DNA and turn particular genes on or off.

The structure also reveals how calmodulin stops the estrogen receptor from being broken down and removed. Another protein, ubiquitin, is responsible for attaching to proteins inside cells and flagging them for disposal. Calmodulin blocks those parts of the estrogen receptor where ubiquitin can attach. That could result in a buildup of estrogen receptors which is associated with tumor formation, Ames said.

X-ray crystallography at the University of Toronto figured in the inositol triphosphate receptor work, while Ames' team used the 800-megahertz nuclear MRI to work on the inositol triphosphate receptor and the calmodulin/estrogen receptor. Similar to the MRI machines used in hospitals, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy provides information about both the structure of molecules and how atoms are moving within them.


'/>"/>
Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. New and Delicious, Almond Butter Filled, Cookie Bites With 35.7% Protein to Help Manage Weight and Build Muscle
2. Research highlights role of protein pair in obesity regulation
3. Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
4. Smithfield, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, and Food Networks Paula Deen to Deliver 150,000 Servings of Protein to San Francisco Food Bank
5. Protein Sciences Corporation Announces Profitable and Cash Flow Positive Results for 2009 and Management Realignment
6. Protein Appears Key to Intestinal Balance
7. SIBLING proteins may predict oral cancer
8. Damaged protein identified as early diagnostic biomarker for Alzheimers disease in healthy adults
9. Cells of aggressive leukemia hijack normal protein to grow
10. Omega Protein Comments on California Lawsuit Alleging Fish Oil Contaminants
11. Proteins May Predict Spread of Colon Cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Protein structures give disease clues
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June ... a Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments ... of the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. ... the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has ... , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of ... AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... at the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, ... journal articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... National recruitment firm Slone Partners is pleased to announce the ... as Vice President of North American Capital Sales at HTG Molecular . ... team in the commercialization of the HTG EdgeSeq system and associated reagents in North ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June 24, ... VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, ... Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As ... Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic counsel ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Any dentist who has made an ... current process. Many of them do not even offer this ... and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able ... such a high cost that the majority of today,s patients ... Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data derived ... Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the market ... of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: