Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > RNA-Exporting Machine Deciphered at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source

The closest look yet at the molecular machinery that helps transport messenger RNA from a cell’s nucleus. In this image, Dbp5 (blue-grey) and Gle1 (yellow) are glued together by IP6 (colored spheres). (Image courtesy of Karsten Weis’ and James Berger’s labs)
The closest look yet at the molecular machinery that helps transport messenger RNA from a cell’s nucleus. In this image, Dbp5 (blue-grey) and Gle1 (yellow) are glued together by IP6 (colored spheres). (Image courtesy of Karsten Weis’ and James Berger’s labs)

Abstract:
A tiny motor tasked with one of nature's biggest jobs is now better understood. The molecular machinery that helps export messenger RNA from a cell's nucleus has been structurally mapped at the Advanced Light Source, a synchrotron located at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

RNA-Exporting Machine Deciphered at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source

Berkeley, CA | Posted on March 28th, 2011

Messenger RNA conveys genetic information from the nucleus to the cell's cytoplasm, where it guides the synthesis of proteins — the workhorses of biology. A key protein complex that helps to ferry messenger RNA from the nucleus has been poorly understood until now, however.

"Our research describes how this protein complex works at the molecular level," says Ben Montpetit, a postdoctoral researcher in Karsten Weis' lab at the University of California, Berkeley. Their research, a collaboration with biochemists Nathan Thomsen and James Berger, also of the University of California, Berkeley, is described in a paper published March 27 in an advance online edition of the journal Nature. Berger is also a faculty scientist in Berkeley Lab's Physical Biosciences Division.

The scientists studied a protein called Dbp5 that resides at the nuclear pore complex of fungi, plant, and animal cells. In these organisms, it reshapes messenger RNA as part of a chain of events required to send it from the nucleus.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Dbp5 is among a class of enzymes called DEAD-box ATPase that perform vital RNA-remodeling functions throughout nature, from humans and oak trees to fungi and single-celled bacteria. Understanding how it works in the cells of one species will illuminate how it works in distantly related species.

"DEAD-box proteins are conserved throughout life, so learning how it works in this case sheds light on its function everywhere in nature," says Montpetit.

The scientists conducted their research at beamline 8.3.1 of the Advanced Light Source, a national user facility that generates intense x-rays to probe the fundamental properties of substances. They used the synchrotron to resolve the structure of Dbp5 from yeast cells at key steps of the enzyme's job, such as when it's activated by another protein called Gle1 and when it binds with RNA. The structures were obtained at resolutions of between one and four angstroms (one angstrom is the diameter of a hydrogen atom).

The result is a time-lapse series of the protein's choreographed bid to remodel messenger RNA, with its twists and turns revealed at the highest resolution yet.

Among the team's most intriguing discoveries is the role of a molecule that is known to be involved in messenger RNA transport, but whose function was a mystery. They found that the molecule, called inositol hexakisphosphate, or IP6, tethers Gle1 to Dbp5. This stabilizes the two proteins long enough for Gle1 to kickstart Dbp5 into action.

"IP6 acts like a molecular glue," says Montpetit. "This is one of the first examples of an endogenous small molecule functioning to bring larger protein molecules together. With this knowledge, scientists can now consider how IP6 may be used to regulate mRNA export under various conditions, such as in response to stress."

Their research could also advance scientists' understanding of a rare but devastating family of diseases called lethal congenital contracture syndrome. The mutation that causes this disease is mapped to the genes that produce both Gle1 and IP6. Now, with Gle1's role in messenger RNA transport further elucidated, the door opens for the development of therapies that target its function.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Foundation.

####

About Berkeley Lab
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory managed by the University of California for the DOE Office of Science. Berkeley Lab provides solutions to the world’s most urgent scientific challenges including sustainable energy, climate change, human health, and a better understanding of matter and force in the universe. It is a world leader in improving our lives through team science, advanced computing, and innovative technology. Visit our website.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Dan Krotz
510-486-4019

Copyright © Berkeley Lab

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

Toyocolor to Launch New Carbon Nanotube Materials at nano tech 2015 January 24th, 2015

NANOPOSTER 2015 - 5th Virtual Nanotechnology Conference - call for abstracts January 24th, 2015

Nanosensor Used for Simultaneous Determination of Effective Tea Components January 24th, 2015

The latest fashion: Graphene edges can be tailor-made: Rice University theory shows it should be possible to tune material's properties January 24th, 2015

Laboratories

Self-assembled nanotextures create antireflective surface on silicon solar cells: Nanostructured surface textures-with shapes inspired by the structure of moths' eyes-prevent the reflection of light off silicon, improving conversion of sunlight to electricity January 21st, 2015

NREL Scientist Brian Gregg Named AAAS Fellow: Gregg honored for distinguished contributions to the field of organic solar photoconversion January 20th, 2015

Self-destructive Effects of Magnetically-doped Ferromagnetic Topological Insulators: Magnetic atoms that create exotic surface property also sow the seeds of its destruction January 19th, 2015

Solving an organic semiconductor mystery: Berkeley Lab researchers uncover hidden structures in domain interfaces that hamper performance January 16th, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

The latest fashion: Graphene edges can be tailor-made: Rice University theory shows it should be possible to tune material's properties January 24th, 2015

Scientists 'bend' elastic waves with new metamaterials that could have commercial applications: Materials could benefit imaging and military enhancements such as elastic cloaking January 23rd, 2015

Harper Government Supports Research Innovation in Western Canada January 22nd, 2015

EnvisioNano: An image contest hosted by the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) January 22nd, 2015

Molecular Machines

Mysteries of ‘Molecular Machines’ Revealed: Phenix software uses X-ray diffraction spots to produce 3-D image December 22nd, 2014

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

Discoveries

Nanosensor Used for Simultaneous Determination of Effective Tea Components January 24th, 2015

The latest fashion: Graphene edges can be tailor-made: Rice University theory shows it should be possible to tune material's properties January 24th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Produce Graphene-Based Oxygen Sensor January 23rd, 2015

Silver nanowires demonstrate unexpected self-healing mechanism: The material has potential for flexible electronics January 23rd, 2015

Announcements

Toyocolor to Launch New Carbon Nanotube Materials at nano tech 2015 January 24th, 2015

NANOPOSTER 2015 - 5th Virtual Nanotechnology Conference - call for abstracts January 24th, 2015

Nanosensor Used for Simultaneous Determination of Effective Tea Components January 24th, 2015

The latest fashion: Graphene edges can be tailor-made: Rice University theory shows it should be possible to tune material's properties January 24th, 2015

Nanobiotechnology

DNA 'glue' could someday be used to build tissues, organs January 14th, 2015

Photonic crystal nanolaser biosensor simplifies DNA detection: New device offers a simpler and potentially less expensive way to detect DNA and other biomolecules through changes in surface charge density or solution pH January 13th, 2015

Determination of Critical Force, Time for Manipulation of Biological Nanoparticles January 7th, 2015

DNA Origami Could Lead to Nano “Transformers” for Biomedical Applications: Tiny hinges and pistons hint at possible complexity of future nano-robots January 5th, 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







© Copyright 1999-2015 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE