Navigation Links
Discovery of Agile Molecular Motors Could Aid in Treating Motor Neuron Diseases

Over the last several months, the labs of Yale Goldman, MD, PhD, Director of the Pennsylvania Muscle Institute at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine,// and Erika Holzbaur, PhD, Professor of Physiology, have published a group of papers that, taken together, show proteins that function as molecular motors are surprisingly flexible and agile, able to navigate obstacles within the cell. These observations could lead to better ways to treat motor neuron diseases.

Motor neuron diseases are a group of progressive neurological disorders that destroy motor neurons, the cells that control voluntary muscles for such activities as speaking, walking, breathing, and swallowing. When these neurons die, the muscle itself atrophies. A well-known motor neuron disease is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Using a specially-constructed microscope that allows researchers to observe the action of one macromolecule at a time, the team found that a protein motor is able to move back and forth along a microtubule – a molecular track – rather than in one direction, as previously thought. They report their findings in a recent issue of Nature Cell Biology. The proteins in this motor, dynein and dynactin, are the “long-distance truckers” of the cell: working together, they are responsible for transporting cellular cargo from the periphery of a cell toward its nucleus.

“My lab concentrates on the cellular and genetic aspects of the dynein-dynactin motor, while Yale’s group delves into the mechanics of the motor itself,” says Holzbaur. “We’re deconstructing the system to understand how it all works in a living cell. In the lab, we start with a clean microtubule with a motor walking across it, but in the cell it’s different: microtubules are packed together, with proteins studded along them, and cellular organelles and mitochondria are crammed in. The motor needs to maneuver around those ‘obstructions.’” Goldman and Holzbaur suggest that the ability of the dynein-dynactin motor to move in both directions along the microtubule may provide the necessary maneuvering ability to allow for effective long distance transport.

Earlier this year, as reported in The Journal of Cell Biology, researchers in Holzbaur’s lab found that a mutation in dynactin leads to degeneration of motor neurons, the hallmark of motor neuron disease. This mutation decreases the efficiency of the dynein-dynactin motor in “taking out the trash” of the cell, and thus leads to the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the cell, which may in turn lead to the degeneration of the neuron.

Scientists are now finding that many other molecular motors are remarkably flexible in their behavior. In several further papers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and The EMBO Journal, Goldman and colleagues at the University of Illinois found that a “local delivery” motor, termed myosin V, moves cargo with a variable path short distances along another type of cellular track called actin. This flexibility could help myosin V navigate crowded regions of the cell where the actin filaments criss-cross and where other cellular components would otherwise pose an impediment to motion. Defects in myosin V function also result in neurological defects.

Most of these molecular motors are associated with specific diseases or developmental defects, so understanding the puzzling aspects of their behavior in detail is necessary for building nanotechnological machines that, for example, could replace defective motors. “The ultimate goal is to find ways to treat motor neuron disease as well as other diseases that involve cellular motors and also construct nano-scale machines based on these biological motors,” says Goldman.

(Source: Newswise)
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Discovery of bone gene
2. New Discovery May Help Treat Infertility
3. New Discovery to Increase Survival of Breast cancer Patients
4. Discovery of World’s smallest laser
5. Discovery of a built-in fat sensor
6. OHSU Researchers Announce New Discovery
7. Discovery Of New Molecule Could Solve Cancer Spread Mystery
8. Discovery Of Human Skeletons Could Unfold Facts About By-Gone Ages
9. New Discovery Shows That Brain Could repair Itself After Stroke
10. New Sleep Gene Discovery Wakes Up Scientists
11. Discovery of Elevated Amyloid Peptide levels could lead to Alzheimer’s Preventio
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/22/2017)... ... ... Social media marketing is transitioning from a singular person activity to a ... into this insight and more in its latest episode of its Brains Over Brawn ... with social media strategist and partner of the digital firm Med|Ed Digital Jessica Columbo. ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... with so many different solutions on the market, it is easy to start ... Texas Premier Locksmith offers a complimentary security consultation. , Home Security Hardware ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Apptricity® Corporation, a leading global provider of ... announced that Keppel Corporation has selected Apptricity Travel and Expense Management integrated solution ... excited to announce the partnership between Keppel and Apptricity for our Global Travel ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... Robins & Morton celebrated the ... on Feb. 21. , The celebration began with a ribbon cutting event at ... construction team and tribal leadership. , Choctaw Nation Durant Regional Medical Clinic ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... February 21, 2017 , ... Doctors ... , CA, directed by Dr. Kendell Mendonca , to its growing network of ... compensation injuries including injuries stemming from car accidents such as whiplash, back pain, neck ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/21/2017)... Feb. 21, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... - 2016" report to their offering. ... The latest research Uterine cancer Drugs Price Analysis and ... Uterine cancer market. The research answers the following questions: ... and their clinical attributes? How are they positioned in the Global Uterine ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... Taiwan Biophotonic Co. (tBPC), a medical device ... sensing solutions, today announced the CE Marking and the ... the oCare TM Pro 100, which is a quantum ... space.  tBPC,s Wrist Pulse Oximeter, the oCare ... reliable method to measure and record heart rate and ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... , Feb. 20, 2017 Provides understanding ... and agreements entered into by the worlds leading ... https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/3605699/ Description The Global Renal Failure ... understanding and access to partnering deals and agreements ... - Trends in partnering deals ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: