Navigation Links
UGA chemistry discovery could have major medical implications
Date:9/11/2012

Athens, Ga. The study of an oxygen-sensing bacterial regulatory protein by chemistry researchers at the University of Georgia has provided molecular insight into the oxygen sensing mechanism, which could ultimately lead to a better understanding of the ageing process and new treatments for human diseases such cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Michael Johnson, a distinguished research professor of chemistry in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and Bo Zhang, a UGA chemistry doctoral candidate, have discovered that the fumarate and nitrate reduction regulatory protein, or FNR, in E. coli senses oxygen by a new type of reversible structural change in an iron-sulfur cluster. The work was carried out in collaboration with Nick Le Brun and coworkers from the University of East Anglia. The results were published Sept. 10 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

Iron-sulfur clusters are abundant biological cofactors that play crucial roles in almost all of fundamental life processes, including respiration, photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation, DNA replication and repair. "Everyone has trillions of iron-sulfur clusters associated with enzymes and proteins in their bodies," Johnson said. "The problem is that they readily degrade in the presence of oxygen and other species that are associated with oxidative stress, leading to loss of protein function."

The research conducted at UGA and UEA focused on FNR, which senses the presence of oxygen in the environment and "switches" off and on specific genes in pathogens, such as E. coli, when there is no oxygen presentconditions often found in the human intestinal tract. Oxygen is sensed by FNR via its iron-sulfur clusterthat undergoes conversion from one form to another, smaller one, thereby causing the protein to change shapethe "switch"and leading to the turning off of genes associated with growth without oxygen.

"E. coli can decide what lifestyle to live, with or without oxygen," said Johnson. "We can't decide to change our need for oxygen, but understanding the mechanisms for reassembly and repair of iron-sulfur clusters in response to oxidative stress is crucial for understanding a host of human diseases as well as the ageing process."

By revealing the structure of the oxygen-damaged cluster in FNR and showing that it can be readily repaired by the addition of iron, this research has discovered a major mechanism for the repair of iron-sulfur clusters. Moreover, preliminary results on other iron-sulfur cluster containing enzymes suggest that this type of iron-sulfur cluster oxygen-damage and repair mechanism is widespread in biology.

Bo Zhang, the lead author on paper said that the iron-sulfur cluster switching mechanism in response to oxygen is smart. "They don't panicthey calmly keep their extra sulfurs and wait to be repaired," said Zhang. She said that any medical applications of the research could take 10 to 20 years for development. The next step is to discover how the repair process works in the cell. Johnson and Zhang are currently working on in vitro models to mimic this biological repair process.


'/>"/>
Contact: Michael K. Johnson
mkj@uga.edu
706-542-9378
University of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Heroes of Chemistry: Developed new drugs and technology to cut heating and cooling bills
2. Astex, CRT and the Institute of Cancer Research announce epigenetic drug discovery collaboration
3. Genetic discovery in Montreal for a rare disease in Newfoundland
4. Discovery May Improve Diagnosis of Alzheimers, Parkinsons
5. A vaccine for heart disease? La Jolla Institute discovery points up this possibility
6. SFU duos protein discovery links to cancer research
7. Life Sciences Discovery Fund makes company grants in health-related technologies
8. Evolutionary information improves discovery of mutations associated with diseases
9. Discovery improves understanding of early onset inflammatory disease
10. Discovery explains how cellular pathways converge to regulate food intake and body weight
11. New mouse model helps explain gene discovery in congenital heart disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... February 13, 2016 , ... The producers of Enterprises TV ... , The increasingly modern world of instantaneous consumption proves very convenient for businesses. ... such as oil and coal, which pollutes our air, water, and soil. It can ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... , ... February 13, 2016 , ... ... Outlook’s top Clinical Data Management Solution Providers list for its expertise in eClinical ... and domain expertise to serve the technology needs of global clients. DDi provides ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... exclusively to funding innovative lymphoma research and serving the lymphoma community through a ... 250 members of South Florida’s philanthropic community at its 10th anniversary Fashion Luncheon ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... ... Coco Libre, the maker of coconut water beverages with a purpose, is ... Coco Libre will offer musicians and celebrities the company’s signature Organic Coconut Water, a ... suite, held this year at the W Hollywood Hotel, has become a pre-show “must” ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... Fisher House ... Vegas Mayor John J. Lee, Nevada Military Support Alliance president Scott Bensing, and Peggy ... at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System. This will be the first Fisher ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... 2016 The primary goal of this research ... on the usage of liquid biopsy. Key information the ... - Timeframe of liquid biopsy adoption amidst future users ... organization type - Sample inflow to conduct liquid biopsy ... serum, and so on. - Correlation analysis of sample ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016 PRO-DEX, INC. (NasdaqCM: PDEX) today announced ... 31, 2015. The Company also filed its Quarterly Report on ... with the Securities and Exchange Commission today. ... --> --> Net sales ... million, or 95%, to $5.4 million from $2.8 million for ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... -- Kindred Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: KIN ), a biopharmaceutical ... pets, today announced the submission to FDA of the ... (NADA) for Zimeta™ (dipyrone injection, KIND-012).  Positive topline results ... the control of pyrexia (fever) in horses were recently ... --> The Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls technical ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: