Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

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

Atom-thick CCD could capture images: Rice University scientists develop two-dimensional, light-sensitive material December 20th, 2014

Oregon researchers glimpse pathway of sunlight to electricity: Collaboration with Lund University uses modified UO spectroscopy equipment to study 'maze' of connections in photoactive quantum dots December 19th, 2014

Instant-start computers possible with new breakthrough December 19th, 2014

Aculon Hires New Business Development Director December 19th, 2014

Molecular Machines

Creation of 'Rocker' protein opens way for new smart molecules in medicine, other fields December 18th, 2014

Dartmouth researchers create 'green' process to reduce molecular switching waste December 15th, 2014

'Nanomotor lithography' answers call for affordable, simpler device manufacturing October 31st, 2014

Crystallizing the DNA nanotechnology dream: Scientists have designed the first large DNA crystals with precisely prescribed depths and complex 3D features, which could create revolutionary nanodevices October 20th, 2014

Molecular Nanotechnology

Dartmouth researchers create 'green' process to reduce molecular switching waste December 15th, 2014

New technique allows low-cost creation of 3-D nanostructures December 8th, 2014

Researchers discern the shapes of high-order Brownian motions November 17th, 2014

Manipulating complex molecules by hand: New method in scanning probe microscopy: Jülich researchers create a word using 47 molecules November 6th, 2014

Nanomedicine

Creation of 'Rocker' protein opens way for new smart molecules in medicine, other fields December 18th, 2014

Iranian Researchers Produce Electrical Pieces Usable in Human Body December 18th, 2014

Unraveling the light of fireflies December 17th, 2014

First Home-Made Edible Herbal Nanodrug Presented to Pharmacies across Iran December 17th, 2014

Discoveries

Atom-thick CCD could capture images: Rice University scientists develop two-dimensional, light-sensitive material December 20th, 2014

Oregon researchers glimpse pathway of sunlight to electricity: Collaboration with Lund University uses modified UO spectroscopy equipment to study 'maze' of connections in photoactive quantum dots December 19th, 2014

Instant-start computers possible with new breakthrough December 19th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Use Nanotechnology to Increase Power, Energy of Supercapacitors December 18th, 2014

Announcements

Atom-thick CCD could capture images: Rice University scientists develop two-dimensional, light-sensitive material December 20th, 2014

Oregon researchers glimpse pathway of sunlight to electricity: Collaboration with Lund University uses modified UO spectroscopy equipment to study 'maze' of connections in photoactive quantum dots December 19th, 2014

Instant-start computers possible with new breakthrough December 19th, 2014

Aculon Hires New Business Development Director December 19th, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE