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Latest Integral membrane proteins Stories

2011-12-13 11:48:56

Drawing on X-ray crystallography and experimental data, as well as a software suite for predicting and designing protein structures, a UC Davis School of Medicine researcher has developed an algorithm that predicts what has been impossible to generate in the laboratory: the conformational changes in voltage-gated sodium channels when they are at rest or actively transmitting a signal in muscle and nerve cells. Structural modeling of the voltage-sensing mechanism is important because it...

2011-12-12 22:14:23

A new study in the Journal of General Physiology (http://www.jgp.org) provides fresh insight into voltage-gated channels–transmembrane ion channels that play a critical role in the function of neuronal and muscle tissue. Voltage-gated ion channels underlie signaling of most electrically active cells. These important ion channels have long challenged physiologists with the question of how membrane voltage drives the structural transitions between closed and open states. For more than...

2011-12-02 01:13:30

A diametric shift in the levels of two proteins involved in folding, moving and cutting other proteins enables accumulation of the destructive brain plaque found in Alzheimer's disease, researchers report. VPS35 is a protein that folds others into specific positions to unleash their functions. When levels are reduced as they are in aging, it unleashes the normally dormant BACE1, a protein responsible for beta amyloid plaque production, Georgia Health Sciences University researchers report...

2011-11-24 11:40:32

Scientists studying longevity thought it might be good to lack a copy of a gene, called IGF1 receptor, that is important in insulin signaling. Previous studies showed invertebrates that lacked the copy lived longer, even if their bodies were less responsive to insulin, the hormone that lowers blood sugar. A new study from The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio challenges this. Knocking out one copy of the gene failed to increase the life span of male mice, and it only...

2011-11-21 22:54:41

Sluggish recycling of a protein-slicing enzyme could promote Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published online on November 21 in The Journal of Cell Biology (www.jcb.org). Abeta, the toxic protein that accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, is formed when enzymes cut up its parental protein, known as amyloid precursor protein. One of those enzymes is beta-secretase or BACE1. BACE1 cycles between the Golgi apparatus and the plasma membrane, traveling through endosomes...

2011-11-14 22:39:50

Researchers from Hull, Bristol and Frankfurt have shown that a new technique for identifying molecular structure can be used effectively on small samples of biological proteins, particularly proteins that are targeted for drug development. The technique, an enhanced form of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, could enable the structure of a protein to be identified within hours, rather than weeks or months, radically speeding up the process of drug discovery. The findings are...

2011-11-10 15:40:04

The future of drug design lies in developing therapies that can target specific cellular processes without causing adverse reactions in other areas of the nervous system. Scientists at the Universities of Bristol and Liège in Belgium have discovered how to design drugs to target specific areas of the brain. The research, led by Professor Neil Marrion at Bristol´s School of Physiology and Pharmacology and published in this week´s Proceedings of National Academy of...

2011-10-27 22:07:46

In a development that sheds new light on the pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD), a team of Whitehead Institute scientists has identified connections between genetic risk factors for the disease and the effects of a peptide toxic to nerve cells in the brains of AD patients. The scientists, working in and in collaboration with the lab of Whitehead Member Susan Lindquist, established these previously unknown links in an unexpected way. They used a very simple cell type–yeast...

2011-10-25 13:24:15

Researchers studying how fluids travel through nanoscale channels were surprised to discover that the fluids don't flow equally well in all directions. Contrary to the behavior in the macroscale world, the researchers discovered that methyl alcohol, when it was placed in a network of nanoscale channels in a mineral known as a zeolite, diffused 1,000 times faster in one direction than another. This is the first known evidence of such highly unequal diffusion of molecules in a nanoporous...

Explanation For Glowing Seas Suggested
2011-10-19 13:30:54

Potential mechanism for dazzling blue flashes of light in oceans identified It has long been known that distinctive blue flashes--a type of bioluminescence--that are visible at night in some marine environments are caused by tiny, unicellular plankton known as dinoflagellates. However, a new study has, for the first time, detailed the potential mechanism for this bioluminesence. The study, which was partially funded by the National Science Foundation, is reported by Susan Smith of Emory...


Word of the Day
cenobite
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.
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