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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 12:48 EDT

Latest Cell membrane Stories

2011-03-22 12:50:30

A key question in protein biochemistry is how proteins recognize "correct" interaction partners in a sea of cellular factors. Nowhere is that more critical to know than in the brain, where interactions governing channel protein activity can alter an organism's behavior. A team of biologists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has recently deciphered a molecular code that regulates availability of a brain channel that modulates neuronal excitability, a discovery that might aid efforts...

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2011-03-15 11:49:48

By David Salisbury, Vanderbilt University A new laser technique has demonstrated it can measure the interactions between proteins tangled in a cell's membrane and a variety of other biological molecules. These extremely difficult measurements can aid the process of drug discovery. Scientists estimate that about 30 percent of the 7,000 proteins in a human cell reside in the cell's membrane, and that these membrane proteins initiate 60 to 70 percent of the signals that control the operation of...

2011-02-24 18:54:55

Research by University of Warwick's School of Life Sciences has opened up a new path to produce water efficient seeds that will be a significant tool to help create drought resistance, and ensure global food security.  The research not only provides the best map to date of the key protein that appears to be the principal gateway for water intake during seed germination - it also actually provides the right map as it appears much of the research to date was focussed on a much less...

2011-02-23 13:55:29

Scientists at IRB Barcelona resolve a three-dimensional structure required for the function of some vital cell transporters which communicate cells with the external environment. This finding will contribute to understanding some of the functional disruptions caused by human diseases. Researchers at IRB Barcelona have completed the 3D structural sequence adopted by several essential proteins in the exchange of substances between the extra and intracellular milieu. This finding provides a...

2011-02-18 17:21:04

One bad apple is all it takes to spoil the barrel. And one misfolded protein may be all that's necessary to corrupt other proteins, forming large aggregations linked to several incurable neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Stanford biology Professor Ron Kopito has shown that the mutant, misfolded protein responsible for Huntington's disease can move from cell to cell, recruiting normal proteins and forming aggregations in each cell it visits. Knowing...

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2011-02-08 07:38:20

Berkeley Lab Reports New Fluorescent Assay Reveals TREK1 Mechanism By Lynn Yarris, Berkeley Lab Using a unique and relatively simple cell-based fluorescent assay they developed, scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC), Berkeley have identified a means by which fluoxetine, the active ingredient in Prozac, suppresses the activity of the TREK1 potassium channel. TREK1 activity has been...

2011-02-07 14:34:55

Unprecedented single molecule imaging movies of living cell membranes, taken by a research team based at Kyoto University and the University of New Mexico, have clarified a decades-old enigma surrounding receptor molecule behaviors. The results, appearing in the latest issue of the Journal of Cell Biology, promise to open the door to new possibilities for drug development. The work focuses on G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), a class of molecules in cell membranes that comprise the largest...

2011-01-18 22:52:55

The Ras oncogene "“ frequently mutated in cancers "“ was once thought to act at the outermost region of the cell called the plasma membrane. However, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine demonstrated first in yeast and now in mammalian cells that the Ras protein also has activity in the interior of the cell called the cytoplasm, and that its effectiveness in cancer causation depends on where it is. "In this study, we wanted to know if the cytoplasmic Ras pathway can be found...

2010-12-17 17:22:24

Rapid turnover and remodelling of lipid membranes could help phytoplankton cope with nutrient scarcity in the open ocean. A team led by Patrick Martin of the National Oceanography Centre has shown that a species of planktonic marine alga can rapidly change the chemical composition of its cell membranes in response to changes in nutrient supply. The findings indicate that the process may be important for nutrient cycling and the population dynamics of phytoplankton in the open ocean. Tiny...

2010-12-14 01:06:47

Understanding how lignin building blocks are transported could break down barriers to biofuel production One big challenge in converting plants to biofuels is that the very same molecules that keep plants standing up make it hard to break them down. Now scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory are unraveling details of how plant cells' structural supports - their cell walls - are made, with the hope of finding ways to change their composition for more...