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

News and information

PetLife Comments on CNN Story on Scorpion Venom Health Benefits August 27th, 2014

Nanodiamonds Are Forever: A UCSB professor’s research examines 13,000-year-old nanodiamonds from multiple locations across three continents August 27th, 2014

Aspen Aerogels, Inc. to Present at Barclays CEO Energy-Power Conference August 27th, 2014

Nanotech Security Corp. to Acquire Fortress Optical Features Ltd., a Leading Producer of Banknote Security Features August 27th, 2014

Imaging

JPK expands availability of instrumentation in the USA – appointing new distributors – launched a new web site to support the US market - AFM now available to US users August 26th, 2014

Scientists craft atomically seamless, thinnest-possible semiconductor junctions August 26th, 2014

X-ray Laser Probes Tiny Quantum Tornadoes in Superfluid Droplets: SLAC Experiment Reveals Mysterious Order in Liquid Helium August 25th, 2014

Biomimetic photodetector 'sees' in color: Rice lab uses CMOS-compatible aluminum for on-chip color detection August 25th, 2014

Nanomedicine

PetLife Comments on CNN Story on Scorpion Venom Health Benefits August 27th, 2014

The thunder god vine, assisted by nanotechnology, could shake up future cancer treatment: Targeted therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma using nanotechnology August 27th, 2014

Introducing the multi-tasking nanoparticle: Versatile particles offer a wide variety of diagnostic and therapeutic applications August 26th, 2014

Symphony of nanoplasmonic and optical resonators leads to magnificent laser-like light emission August 26th, 2014

Discoveries

The thunder god vine, assisted by nanotechnology, could shake up future cancer treatment: Targeted therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma using nanotechnology August 27th, 2014

Creation of a Highly Efficient Technique to Develop Low-Friction Materials Which Are Drawing Attention in Association with Energy Issues August 26th, 2014

Competition for Graphene: Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate Ultrafast Charge Transfer in New Family of 2D Semiconductors August 26th, 2014

Symphony of nanoplasmonic and optical resonators leads to magnificent laser-like light emission August 26th, 2014

Announcements

Nanodiamonds Are Forever: A UCSB professor’s research examines 13,000-year-old nanodiamonds from multiple locations across three continents August 27th, 2014

Aspen Aerogels, Inc. to Present at Barclays CEO Energy-Power Conference August 27th, 2014

Nanotech Security Corp. to Acquire Fortress Optical Features Ltd., a Leading Producer of Banknote Security Features August 27th, 2014

Malvern specialists to deliver inaugural short course on polymer characterization at Interplas 2014 August 27th, 2014

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

The thunder god vine, assisted by nanotechnology, could shake up future cancer treatment: Targeted therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma using nanotechnology August 27th, 2014

Scientists craft atomically seamless, thinnest-possible semiconductor junctions August 26th, 2014

Competition for Graphene: Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate Ultrafast Charge Transfer in New Family of 2D Semiconductors August 26th, 2014

Symphony of nanoplasmonic and optical resonators leads to magnificent laser-like light emission August 26th, 2014

Nanobiotechnology

The channel that relaxes DNA: Relaxing DNA strands by using nano-channels: Instructions for use August 20th, 2014

Сalculations with Nanoscale Smart Particles August 19th, 2014

Interaction between Drug, DNA for Designing Anticancer Drugs Studied in Iran August 17th, 2014

Scientists fold RNA origami from a single strand: RNA origami is a new method for organizing molecules on the nanoscale. Using just a single strand of RNA, this technique can produce many complicated shapes. August 14th, 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