Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > A Protein’s Path to the “Chamber of Doom”

Abstract:
Researchers have uncovered a perilous pathway within the cell that rivals any road taken by Indiana Jones or his summer blockbuster companions: a slippery tube that funnels proteins into a "chamber of doom" where they are shredded and recycled into the building blocks of new proteins. The newly described pathway could have applications for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and some cancers.

A Protein’s Path to the “Chamber of Doom”

New York, NY | Posted on July 14th, 2008

Researchers have uncovered a perilous pathway within the cell that rivals any road taken by Indiana Jones or his summer blockbuster companions: a slippery tube that funnels proteins into a "chamber of doom" where they are shredded and recycled into the building blocks of new proteins.

The tube is part of the 26S proteasome, an enzyme that acts as the cell's protein garbage disposal. As described by researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the tube is a concentric stack of rings wrapped in molecular motors that speed the proteins toward the proteasome's slicing and dicing core.

"The life of all proteins in our cells ends within the proteasome chamber of doom," Technion author Michael Glickman explained. He suggested that the newly-described pathway "should be of interest in applications for diseases in which cells are unable to process degraded or misfolded proteins," including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, some cancers, and age-related conditions such as cataract disease.

The study, published online in June in the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, will help researchers understand the basic biology of the proteasome and "its intrinsic essential function in a myriad of cellular pathways," said Allen Taylor, who has studied proteasome function extensively as director of the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at Tufts University.

The 26S proteasome degrades proteins that are marked for destruction with a ubiquitin protein "tag." The proteasome itself consists of two major structures: a large core structure where the proteins are degraded, and a smaller structure that serves as a kind of entryway where the tagged protein makes its first contact with the proteasome and is unfolded for its journey into the core. The tube described by Glickman and colleagues is part of the smaller structure, and serves a chute between the first contact site and the core.

The researchers used atomic force microscopy to visualize the extremely tiny tube, which Glickman described as two molecular "donuts" stacked on top of each other. The donut holes through which proteins pass is only two nanometers in diameter. (For comparison, the period at the end of this sentence is one million times wider than a nanometer.)

The tube is ringed by a group of energy-producing enzymes called ATPases, which act a motor to drive proteins through the tube. "One may see the entire machine as an external engine wrapping around an inner molecular stent for protein translocation, all situated atop the molecular shredder into which the proteins are fed," Glickman explained.

It's a natural design that engineers working on synthetic nanomachines might hope to copy in their own creations, he noted.

####

About American Technion Scoiety
The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is Israel's leading science and technology university. Home to the country’s winners of the Nobel Prize in science, it commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in nanotechnology, computer science, biotechnology, water-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine. The majority of the founders and managers of Israel's high-tech companies are alumni. Based in New York City, the American Technion Society (ATS) is the leading American organization supporting higher education in Israel, with 22 offices around the country.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Kevin Hattori
American Technion Scoiety

212.407.6319

Copyright © Newswise

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Stanford breakthrough heralds super-efficient light-based computers: Light can transmit more data while consuming far less power than electricity, and an engineering feat brings optical data transport closer to replacing wires May 29th, 2015

Donuts, math, and superdense teleportation of quantum information May 29th, 2015

OSU researchers prove magnetism can control heat, sound: Team leverages OSC services to help confirm, interpret experimental findings May 29th, 2015

Two UCSB Professors Receive Early Career Research Awards: The Department of Energy’s award for young scientists acknowledges UC Santa Barbara’s standing as a top tier research institution May 29th, 2015

Molecular Machines

One step closer to a single-molecule device: Columbia Engineering researchers first to create a single-molecule diode -- the ultimate in miniaturization for electronic devices -- with potential for real-world applications May 25th, 2015

UCLA nanoscientists are first to model atomic structures of three bacterial nanomachines: Cryo electron microscope enables scientists to explore the frontiers of targeted antibiotics April 21st, 2015

Advances in molecular electronics: Lights on -- molecule on: Researchers from Dresden and Konstanz succeed in light-controlled molecule switching April 20th, 2015

Designer's toolkit for dynamic DNA nanomachines: Arm-waving nanorobot signals new flexibility in DNA origami March 27th, 2015

Molecular Nanotechnology

One step closer to a single-molecule device: Columbia Engineering researchers first to create a single-molecule diode -- the ultimate in miniaturization for electronic devices -- with potential for real-world applications May 25th, 2015

Nature inspires first artificial molecular pump: Simple design mimics pumping mechanism of life-sustaining proteins found in living cells May 19th, 2015

Feynman Prize Winners Announced! April 26th, 2015

Surface matters: Huge reduction of heat conduction observed in flat silicon channels April 23rd, 2015

Nanomedicine

New chip makes testing for antibiotic-resistant bacteria faster, easier: Researchers at the University of Toronto design diagnostic chip to reduce testing time from days to one hour, allowing doctors to pick the right antibiotic the first time May 28th, 2015

Arrowhead to Present at Jefferies 2015 Healthcare Conference May 27th, 2015

Seeing the action: UCSB researchers develop a novel device to image the minute forces and actions involved in cell membrane hemifusion May 27th, 2015

Nanotechnology identifies brain tumor types through MRI 'virtual biopsy' in animal studies: If results are confirmed in humans, tumor cells could someday be diagnosed by MRI imaging and treated with tumor-specific IV injections; new NIH grant will fund future study May 27th, 2015

Discoveries

Stanford breakthrough heralds super-efficient light-based computers: Light can transmit more data while consuming far less power than electricity, and an engineering feat brings optical data transport closer to replacing wires May 29th, 2015

Donuts, math, and superdense teleportation of quantum information May 29th, 2015

OSU researchers prove magnetism can control heat, sound: Team leverages OSC services to help confirm, interpret experimental findings May 29th, 2015

New technique speeds nanoMRI imaging: Multiplexing technique for nanoscale magnetic resonance imaging developed by researchers in Switzerland cuts normal scan time from two weeks to two days May 28th, 2015

Announcements

Stanford breakthrough heralds super-efficient light-based computers: Light can transmit more data while consuming far less power than electricity, and an engineering feat brings optical data transport closer to replacing wires May 29th, 2015

Donuts, math, and superdense teleportation of quantum information May 29th, 2015

OSU researchers prove magnetism can control heat, sound: Team leverages OSC services to help confirm, interpret experimental findings May 29th, 2015

Two UCSB Professors Receive Early Career Research Awards: The Department of Energy’s award for young scientists acknowledges UC Santa Barbara’s standing as a top tier research institution May 29th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project