Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Researchers discover a new protein fold with a transport tunnel: Biochemists from Bielefeld, Toronto, Boston, and Kiel publish study in Nature

The Bielefeld chemist Michael Schwake and his colleagues have discovered a new protein fold. At its head (the red helices), this protein can bind enzymes and viruses. The tunnel in the protein structure is colored yellow.

Credit: Illustration: Nature
The Bielefeld chemist Michael Schwake and his colleagues have discovered a new protein fold. At its head (the red helices), this protein can bind enzymes and viruses. The tunnel in the protein structure is colored yellow.

Credit: Illustration: Nature

Abstract:
The protein LIMP-2 is vital for both humans and animals. If it is absent - due, for example, to a hereditary disease - substances of an unknown nature, probably lipids, accumulate in the organism. Up to now, scientists were unsure what the protein looks like and how exactly it functions. Privatdozent [senior lecturer] Dr. Michael Schwake from the Faculty of Chemistry at Bielefeld University (Germany) is doing research on the protein - and thereby preparing the way for future therapies. Together with colleagues in Kiel, Toronto, and Boston, he has now discovered that the protein LIMP 2 possesses a novel protein fold together with a nanomicroscopically small transport tunnel. The researchers have published their findings on Sunday (27 October) in the globally renowned scientific journal Nature.

Researchers discover a new protein fold with a transport tunnel: Biochemists from Bielefeld, Toronto, Boston, and Kiel publish study in Nature

Bielefeld, Germany | Posted on October 28th, 2013

Proteins are composed of amino acids. Although these are lined up as if along a string, they produce a twisted three-dimensional structure of helices and sheets. It is only this pleating that enables them to influence biological cells. 'We are decoding the structure and function of proteins in order to find out how biochemical processes within them take place,' says Schwake.

To study LIMP-2, Schwake's colleagues from the Canadian University of Toronto have crystallized the protein. Then they can use X-ray diffraction analysis to ascertain its crystalline structure. 'When analysing the images, we detected a protein fold that has not been described in any other protein up to now,' says Schwake.

LIMP-2 is present in every cell of the human body. It is found mostly in the lysosomes of the cells where it ensures that a specific enzyme reaches them. Lysosomes are the 'stomachs' of the cells and they break down harmful and unusable substances. A specific enzyme called beta-glucocerebrosidase is responsible for breaking down lipids. If this enzyme is defect or does not reach the lysosomes, these lipids will accumulate. Biochemists suspect that this is what causes Gaucher's disease that leads to an enlarged liver and spleen.

Schwake's studies confirm how LIMP-2 transports this enzyme. The protein has a 'head' consisting of several helices on which the enzyme docks. 'We also managed to show that the protein is equipped with a tunnel through which it transports substances through membranes,' Schwake reports. The biochemists have determined that it is highly probable that this channel is used to transport lipids away from the lysosome. 'We determined that by comparing the structure of LIMP-2 with that of related proteins,' says Schwake. Two of these proteins are known to bind and transport lipids. The comparison suggests that LIMP-2 must possess the same ability.

As a biochemist, it is not Schwake's job to develop a therapy - his interest is in basic research, that is, in finding out how the proteins work in the cells. 'Our findings could be used to develop substances to cure diseases,' he explains. 'Through our research, we now how ligands bind to the head and lipids are transported through the tunnel. One way to prevent this would be to deliberately disrupt the binding at these locations,' says Schwake.

Since February 2013, PD Dr. Michael Schwake has been running a research team in the Biochemistry III Research Group at Bielefeld University's Faculty of Chemistry headed by Professor Dr. Gabriele Fischer von Mollard. Before this, he was a researcher at the Institute of Biochemistry at Kiel University and at Stanford University (California). Schwake took his doctorate in 2001 at the Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg and his post-doctoral habilitation in 2007 at Kiel University. For the study on LIMP-2, he worked with Professor Dr. Paul Saftig from the Institute of Biochemistry at Kiel University. He also cooperated with researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston (USA), the University of Toronto (Canada), the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, and the SickKids Research Institute, both in Toronto.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Dr. Michael Schwake

49-521-106-2091

Copyright © University of Bielefeld

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 Links

Original publication: Dante Neculai, Michael Schwake, Mani Ravichandran, Friederike Zunke, Richard Collins, Judith Peters, Mirela Neculai, Jonathan Plumb, Peter Loppnau, Juan Carlos Pizarro, Alma Seitova, William S. Trimble, Paul Saftig, Sergio Grinstein, Sirano Dhe-Paganon: Structure of LIMP-2 provides functional insights with implications for SR-BI and CD36, Nature, published online on 27 October 2013:

Related News Press

Imaging

Novel approach to magnetic measurements atom-by-atom October 1st, 2014

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

News and information

'Stealth' nanoparticles could improve cancer vaccines October 1st, 2014

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

Nanomedicine

Arrowhead Expands Management Team with Appointment of Susan Boynton as Vice President Global Regulatory Affairs October 1st, 2014

Nanobotmodels present metastasis and angiogenesis medical animation October 1st, 2014

'Stealth' nanoparticles could improve cancer vaccines 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

Discoveries

Breakthrough in ALD-graphene by Picosun technology October 1st, 2014

Novel approach to magnetic measurements atom-by-atom October 1st, 2014

Nanoparticles Accumulate Quickly in Wetland Sediment: Aquatic food chains might be harmed by molecules "piggybacking" on carbon nanoparticles October 1st, 2014

'Stealth' nanoparticles could improve cancer vaccines October 1st, 2014

Announcements

'Stealth' nanoparticles could improve cancer vaccines October 1st, 2014

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

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals

Novel approach to magnetic measurements atom-by-atom October 1st, 2014

'Stealth' nanoparticles could improve cancer vaccines October 1st, 2014

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

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