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:5/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... More than a third of American adults are considered ... surgery has received increased attention in recent years, as an article published ... weight loss, most people are familiar with the basic requirements of maintaining a healthy ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... ... With over 60 percent of acute stroke survivors being left unable to ... in the rehabilitation process has steadily increased. Ekso Bionics had been working to help ... stroke. , Ekso Bionics has now received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Aimed ... by inspiring human interest stories, courtesy of leaders in the nursing and health ... the industry, from leading advocates and associations—namely Jones & Bartlett Learning. , Jones ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... There are many ways to cook a hot dog, but new research commissioned ... dogs straight off the grill. Of the 90 percent of Americans who say they ... hot dog, far outpacing other cooking methods such as steaming (12 percent), microwaving (9 ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... Connor Sports, ... basketball as a partner for the Tamika Catchings Legacy Tour that will ... industry leader in hardwood basketball surfaces in all forms and levels of the game, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... MedDay, a biotechnology company focused on the treatment ... "High doses of biotin in progressive multiple sclerosis: extension phase ... Ayman Tourbah , Principal Investigator of the Phase 3 ... Neurology (EAN) in Copenhagen, Denmark . The ... on Sunday, 29 May 2016 from 14:45 to 16:15 CEST ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... --   , ... Endpunkte und demonstriert Ebenbürtigkeit bei der Gesamtreinigung des ... guter , Reinigung des ... (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130829/633895-a ) , ... der MORA-Studie der Phase III für NER1006 (1 ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Celsion Corporation (NASDAQ: CLSN ... an update on its ongoing OVATION study, a ... the Company,s DNA-based immunotherapy, with the standard of ... advanced ovarian cancer who will undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy ... IL-12 DNA plasmid vector formulated as a nanoparticle ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: