HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Breakthrough: Scientists Create 3-D Map Of Cell Membrane Ion Pump At Near Atomic Resolution

CHAPEL HILL - For the first time, scientists have succeeded in mapping the structure of an ion pump in cells' plasma membrane - the "bag" that holds human and animal cells together and separates them from neighboring cells. The researchers did it by crystallizing the membrane and studying it under electron microscopes.

Their work is a basic science breakthrough, the investigators say, because of the great difficulty involved and the importance of membranes, which control many key bodily functions.

"Before you can understand how something in the body works, you have to know what its structure is at the atomic level, and that's what we have been investigating," said Dr. Gene A. Scarborough, professor of pharmacology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. "The ion pump we studied is especially important because it is part of a family of membrane proteins that regulate blood pressure, heart function, nerve conduction and acid secretion."

A report on the findings just appeared in Nature, the top British biological journal. Besides Scarborough, authors are Dr. Manfred Auer and Werner Kuhlbrandt of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt, Germany.

"Membranes and the pumps within them are important because they help keep the good stuff inside cells and the bad stuff out," Scarborough said. "But to see the structure of membrane pumps, you have to crystallize them. That is what we have done, and we are getting very close to atomic resolution."

In creating their 3-D "map," the researchers used a detergent-like compound to overcome a stubborn technical difficulty. The problem was that unlike most other proteins, cell membrane proteins are embedded in a natural greasy substance that makes growing crystals of them nearly impossible.

By a clever strategy, Scarborough succeeded in getting the soapy su
'"/>

Contact: David L. Williamson
rdtokids@email.unc.edu
919-962-8596
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
6-May-1998


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Scientists to prototype cyberinfrastructure for research and education access to ocean observatories
2. Scientists sequence genome of kind of organism central to biospheres carbon cycle
3. Scientists find nanowires capable of detecting individual viruses
4. Scientists discover potential new way to control drug-resistant bacteria
5. Scientists explore genome of methane-breathing microbe
6. Scientists decipher genetic code of biothreat pathogen
7. Stuck on you: Scientists lay bare secrets of bacterial attachment proteins
8. Scientists discover proteins involved in spread of HIV-1 infection
9. Scientists fear new Ebola outbreak may explain sudden gorilla disappearance
10. Scientists reinvent DNA as template to produce organic molecules
11. Scientists visualise cellular handmaiden that restores shape to proteins

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/16/2017)...  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an innovative ... verification solutions, announced today they will participate as a ... thru May 17, 2017, in Washington D.C.,s ... Identity impacts the lives of billions ... evolving digital world, defining identity is critical to nearly ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert ... a media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid ... software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the ... the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from ... prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions ... scheduled symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... Jupiter, FL (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... episode, scheduled to broadcast first quarter 2018. American Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on ... Agriculture industry is faced with the challenge of how to continue to feed a ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... The Giving ... marijuana products targeting the needs of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into ... in Phoenix, Arizona. , As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... applications consulting for microscopy and surface analysis, Nanoscience Instruments is now expanding ... offers a broad range of contract analysis services for advanced applications. Services ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: