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:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... While it’s ... poses a problem. Fortunately, an inventor from Austin, Texas, has identified a solution. , ... medication in darkness or restricted lighting. As such, it eliminates the need to turn ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... alumni Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ’17, along with ... for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases during the 15th Annual Women’s ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... BASKING RIDGE, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... second annual Holly Day Market. Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items ... myriad of personalized and quality-focused health and wellness services offered by the VNA. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... viewers the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which ... current events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance (FHC), ... will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th Annual ... Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017  Eli Lilly and Company ... results for the third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, ... call on that day with the investment community and ... The conference call will begin at 9 a.m. ... access a live webcast of the conference call through ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HRC), will host its fiscal ... Friday, November 3, 2017, beginning at 7:00 a.m. (CDT) ... a.m. (CDT) / 9:30 a.m. (EDT). In ... guidance for 2018, Hill-Rom executives will also highlight the ... long-range financial outlook through 2020. ...
(Date:9/25/2017)...   Montrium , an industry leader in ... IQPC Trial Master Files & Inspection Readiness Conference ... Clinical Services has selected eTMF Connect ... EastHORN, a leading European contract research organization (CRO), ... to enable greater collaboration with sponsors, improve compliance ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: