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Latest Cell membrane Stories

2011-11-02 09:06:07

Neurofibrillary tangles — odd, twisted clumps of protein found within nerve cells — are a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. The tangles, which were first identified in the early 1900s by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Aloysius Alzheimer, are formed when changes in a protein called tau cause it to aggregate in an insoluble mass in the cytoplasm of cells. Normally, the tau protein is involved in the formation of microtubules, hollow filaments that provide cells...

2011-10-12 10:11:21

New equation developed by UCSB chemical engineers solves the mystery of forces between water-repelling and water-attracting molecules that are critical to industrial and medical applications The physical model to describe the hydrophobic interactions of molecules has been a mystery that has challenged scientists and engineers since the 19th century. Hydrophobic interactions are central to explaining why oil and water don't mix, how proteins are structured, and what holds biological...

2011-10-10 09:11:11

Could controlling cell-membrane fat play a key role in turning off disease? Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago think so, and a biosensor they've created that measures membrane lipid levels may open up new pathways to disease treatment. Wonhwa Cho, distinguished professor of chemistry, and his coworkers engineered a way to modify proteins to fluoresce and act as sensors for lipid levels. Their findings are reported in Nature Chemistry, online on Oct. 9. "Lipid...

2011-10-04 11:14:19

Cell-penetrating peptides, such as the HIV TAT peptide, are able to enter cells using a number of mechanisms, from direct entry to endocytosis, a process by which cells internalize molecules by engulfing them. Further, these cell-penetrating peptides, or CPPs, can facilitate the cellular transfer of various molecular cargoes, from small chemical molecules to nano-sized particles and large fragments of DNA. Because of this ability, CPPs hold great potential as in vitro and in vivo delivery...

2011-09-19 07:33:36

The crystal structure of the dynamin protein – one of the molecular machines that makes cells work – has been revealed, bringing insights into a class of molecules with a wide influence on health and disease. "It's a really cool structure," said Jodi Nunnari, professor and chair of molecular and cellular biology at UC Davis and senior author of the paper, to be published Sept. 18 in the journal Nature. "This is a really important class of molecules for regulating membrane...

2011-09-12 14:29:22

Professor Rikard Blunck receives the Society of General Physiologists' Cranefield Award for his breakthrough Toxin proteins are genetically engineered into our food because they kill insects by perforating body cell walls, and Professor Rikard Blunck of the University of Montreal's Group for the study of membrane proteins (GÉPROM) has detected the molecular mechanism involved. In recognition of his breakthrough, he received the Traditional Paul F. Cranefield Award of the...

2011-08-24 21:47:27

Trafficking pathway for hundreds of cell proteins reconstructed and tested The delivery system for an important class of proteins in the cell membrane can be fully replicated with a mere three components, according to a new study. Tail-anchored proteins, the molecular machines that make up approximately five percent of the membrane proteins in a cell, are known to have their own special pathway for trafficking to the membrane after construction. New research from the University of...

2011-08-19 02:18:10

It is helpful "” even life-saving "” to have a warning sign before a structural system fails, but, when the system is only a few nanometers in size, having a sign that's easy to read is a challenge. Now, thanks to a clever bit of molecular design by University of Pennsylvania and Duke University bioengineers and chemists, such warning can come in the form of a simple color change. The study was conducted by professor Daniel Hammer and graduate students Neha Kamat and Laurel Moses...

2011-08-16 21:13:09

As the gatekeepers of ion flow through cell membranes, ion channels are of key interest in numerous cellular processes. Now, a new study describes an innovative new computational model that realistically simulates the complex conditions found in biological systems and allows for a more accurate look at ion channel function at the level of individual atoms. The research, published by Cell Press in the August 17th issue of the Biophysical Journal, provides a remarkably detailed look at the...

2011-08-01 14:35:14

The research group of Professor Pekka Lappalainen at the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, has identified a previously unknown mechanism which modifies the structure of plasma membranes in intestinal epithelial cells. Unlike other proteins with a similar function, the new protein "“ named 'Pinkbar' by the researchers - creates planar membrane sheets. Further research investigates the potential connection of this protein with various intestinal disorders. The study was...


Word of the Day
jument
  • A beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.
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