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:4/30/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... Saturday, April 30, marks ... impact on public health. The World Veterinary Association (WVA) and the World Organization ... selected continuing education with a One Health focus, which emphasizes how veterinarians pursue ...
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... ... all of us, but there are things we can do to improve the odds of staying ... and more that there are simple, yet important steps that can be taken to maintain good ... recommends for her patients include;, , exercise , healthy ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... Mercy College is expanding its Graduate Business Programs ... be expanding due to high demand: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Organizational ... , School of Business Graduate Program Chair Dr. Ray Manganelli said: “We ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) that it has received ... is the first accreditation of three residency programs that Memorial is currently pursuing, ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... On Tuesday, April 26, ... the Southeast, celebrated the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal on SB 258, the “Rural ... (R - Cumming), offers a 70% tax credit to individuals and corporations which donate ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... TOKYO , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Ahuja , George Phillips und ... wachsenden Unternehmens    ArisGlobal®, ein ... Life Sciences, gab heute bekannt, dass neue ... wachsenden Unternehmens gestoßen sind, die vielfältige Erfahrungen ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 2016 Dr. Vivek Ahuja , ... Ste phen Schmidt ... provider of cloud-based software solutions for life sciences, today announced key ... a wealth of insight to a growing business.  This will bolster ... George Phillips joined ArisGlobal in the position of Vice ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... TapImmune,Inc. (TPIV), a clinical-stage ... gene-based immunotherapeutics and vaccines for the treatment of cancer & ... 3rd Annual Growth Capital Expo to be held ... Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The Company presentation ... th by Dr. John N. Bonfiglio a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: