Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

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

Stressed Out: Research Sheds New Light on Why Rechargeable Batteries Fail October 1st, 2014

New Absorber Will Lead to Better Biosensor: Biosensors are more sensitive and able to detect smaller changes in the environment October 1st, 2014

Graphene chips are close to significant commercialization October 1st, 2014

Production of Filters for Separation of Water from Petroleum Products in Iran October 1st, 2014

A Heartbeat Away? Hybrid "Patch" Could Replace Transplants: TAU researcher harnesses gold nanoparticles to engineer novel biocompatible cardiac patch September 30th, 2014

Laboratories

NREL Announces New Center Directors to lead R&D, Analysis Efforts September 30th, 2014

Park Systems Announces Outsourced Analytical Services Including AFM Surface Imaging, Data Analysis and Interpretation September 30th, 2014

'Pixel' engineered electronics have growth potential: Rice, Oak Ridge, Vanderbilt, Penn scientists lead creation of atom-scale semiconducting composites September 29th, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

NREL Announces New Center Directors to lead R&D, Analysis Efforts September 30th, 2014

A Heartbeat Away? Hybrid "Patch" Could Replace Transplants: TAU researcher harnesses gold nanoparticles to engineer novel biocompatible cardiac patch September 30th, 2014

How things coil: Researchers discover that simulation technology designed for Hollywood can be used as a predictive tool for understanding fundamental engineering problems September 29th, 2014

UT Arlington researchers develop transparent nanoscintillators for radiation detection for medical safety and homeland security September 29th, 2014

Molecular Machines

Optimum inertial design for self-propulsion: A new study investigates the effects of small but finite inertia on the propulsion of micro and nano-scale swimming machines July 29th, 2014

Breakthrough laser experiment reveals liquid-like motion of atoms in an ultra-cold cluster: University of Leicester research team unlocks insights into creation of new nano-materials July 25th, 2014

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

University of Illinois researchers demonstrate novel, tunable nanoantennas July 14th, 2014

Discoveries

Stressed Out: Research Sheds New Light on Why Rechargeable Batteries Fail October 1st, 2014

New Absorber Will Lead to Better Biosensor: Biosensors are more sensitive and able to detect smaller changes in the environment October 1st, 2014

Production of Filters for Separation of Water from Petroleum Products in Iran October 1st, 2014

Chemical interactions between silver nanoparticles and thiols: A comparison of mercaptohexanol again September 30th, 2014

Announcements

Stressed Out: Research Sheds New Light on Why Rechargeable Batteries Fail October 1st, 2014

New Absorber Will Lead to Better Biosensor: Biosensors are more sensitive and able to detect smaller changes in the environment October 1st, 2014

Graphene chips are close to significant commercialization October 1st, 2014

Production of Filters for Separation of Water from Petroleum Products in Iran October 1st, 2014

Nanobiotechnology

Ad-REIC vaccine: A magic bullet for cancer treatment September 30th, 2014

How things coil: Researchers discover that simulation technology designed for Hollywood can be used as a predictive tool for understanding fundamental engineering problems September 29th, 2014

Penn Team Studies Nanocrystals by Passing Them Through Tiny Pores September 26th, 2014

New NIH/DOE Grant for Life Science Studies at NSLS-II: Funding will support operation of three powerful experimental stations designed to reveal detailed structures of proteins, viruses, and more September 23rd, 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