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Latest Myosin Stories

2012-02-15 10:59:42

The proteins actin, myosin and titin are big players in the business of muscle contraction. Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Hamburg, Germany, have now examined another muscle protein — myomesin — which they discovered can stretch up to two-and-a-half times its length, unfolding in a way that was previously unknown. The study is published 14 February in the open-access, online journal PLoS Biology. Myomesin links muscle filaments, which stretch...

2012-01-30 12:36:51

A new study in the Journal of General Physiology (www.jgp.org) uses state-of-the-art fluorescence microscopy to provide a striking 3-D picture of how class V myosins (myoV) "walk" along their actin track. The myosin superfamily of mechanoenzymes, more commonly referred to as molecular motors, play an important role in muscle contraction and other basic cellular processes. MyoV, one of the most highly studied molecular motors, has the ability to travel long distances by taking multiple...

2012-01-16 10:29:05

Just like people, some proteins have characteristic ways of "walking," which (also like human gaits) are not so easy to describe. But now scientists have discovered the unique "drunken sailor" gait of dynein, a protein that is critical for the function of every cell in the body and whose malfunction has been associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Lou Gehrig's disease and Parkinson's disease. The research, which was led by Samara Reck-Peterson of Harvard Medical School and...

2011-12-21 13:07:40

New research hopes to explain premature births and failed inductions of labor. The study by academics at the University of Bristol suggests a new mechanism by which the level of myosin phosphorylation is regulated in the pregnant uterus. The researchers, Dr Claire Hudson and Professor Andrés López Bernal in the School of Clinical Sciences and Dr Kate Heesom in the University Proteomics Facility and the School of Biochemistry, have discovered that phosphorylation...

Cells Are Crawling All Over Our Bodies
2011-10-19 03:28:51

Biologists at Florida State devise new way to watch how cells move For better and for worse, human health depends on a cell's motility —— the ability to crawl from place to place. In every human body, millions of cells —are crawling around doing mostly good deeds ——— though if any of those crawlers are cancerous, watch out. "This is not some horrible sci-fi movie come true but, instead, normal cells carrying out their daily duties," said Florida State...

2011-09-15 20:27:25

Researchers have found that a protein linked to cell division and migration and tied to increased cell proliferation in ovarian tumors is also present at high levels in breast cancer specimens and cell lines. The protein, dubbed "UNC-45A," was also determined to be more active in breast cancer cells than in normal breast cells. University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston scientists describe these findings and others in a paper now online in the Journal of Molecular Biology. "As a...

2011-09-02 12:14:30

Complex system transports essential cargoes such as proteins and membrane vesicles Every cell in the human body contains a complex system to transport essential cargoes such as proteins and membrane vesicles, from point A to point B. These tiny molecular motor proteins move at blistering speeds on miniature railways carrying components of the cell to their proper destinations. But just how cells construct these transport railways to fit precisely inside of confined spaces of the individual...

2011-05-25 21:30:11

With every bodily movement"”from the blink of an eye to running a marathon"”nerve cells transmit signals to muscle cells. To do that, nerve cells rely on tiny molecular motors to transport chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) that excite muscles cells into action. It's a complex process, which scientists are still trying to understand. A new study by Syracuse University researchers has uncovered an important piece of the puzzle. The study, published in the April 22 issue of...

2011-04-19 15:02:12

New insight into the physiology of cardiac muscle may lead to the development of therapeutic strategies that exploit an inherent protective state of the heart. The research, published by Cell Press online on April 19th in the Biophysical Journal, discovers a state of cardiac muscle that exhibits a low metabolic rate and may help to regulate energy use and promote efficiency in this hard-working and vital organ. Muscle cells are highly specialized cells that are able to physically contract and...

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2011-04-12 11:20:00

X-rays shed new light on the regulation of muscle contraction In a famous experiment first performed more than 220 years ago, Italian physician Luigi Galvani discovered that the muscles of a frog's leg twitch when an electric voltage is applied. An international group of scientists from Italy, the UK and France has now brought this textbook classic into the era of nanoscience. They used a powerful new synchrotron X-ray technique to observe for the first time at the molecular scale how muscle...


Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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