HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Chemists characterize regulators of zinc intake and export in cells

EVANSTON, Ill. Chemists at Northwestern University have acquired new insight into how zinc pumps and their regulatory proteins function in cells. The findings, to be published online June 8 in the journal Science, should improve our knowledge of diseases related to zinc metabolism as well as influence future drug design and pharmaceuticals.

Inorganic elements, such as zinc, copper and iron, are vital to the healthy functioning of cells in living organisms, but little is known about how cells use these heavy metals. Each cell in the human body, for instance, requires an enormous amount of zinc, but that amount must be carefully controlled because zinc can be destructive in excess. How does the cell monitor the amount of zinc inside its walls?

Thomas V. OHalloran, professor of chemistry, and Caryn Outten, a former Ph.D. student of OHallorans, have solved an important part of the puzzle. They have described the mechanisms by which two sensor proteins regulate two pumps embedded in the cell membrane. One pump draws zinc into the cell when it is needed, and the other acts as a bouncer, ejecting zinc when the cell is saturated. These are the first and appear to be the primary zinc pumps, along with their regulatory proteins, identified in a cell.

The researchers also have shown that, contrary to current thinking, cells have no free-floating zinc; instead, all zinc is accounted for when in the cell, either bound to proteins or acting as a catalyst in biochemical reactions. This suggests the existence of zinc "chaperone" proteins whose role would be to escort the metal safely to the specific site where it is needed.

"Our work with zinc, copper and other metals involved in human health and disease is helping us to better understand the role these metals play in our body," said OHalloran, who discovered the first copper chaperone protein in 1997.

OHalloran and Outten studied the zinc regulatory proteins in the bacteria E. coli, wh
'"/>

Contact: Megan Fellman
fellman@northwestern.edu
847-491-3115
Northwestern University
6-Jun-2001


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Chemists at four pharmaceutical companies named Heroes for treating childhood conditions
2. Chemists unlock secret to activating tumor suppressor gene
3. Chemists create unusual lariat RNA, a key intermediate in biological splicing
4. American Institute of Chemists names Ralph Hirschmann AIC Gold Medalist
5. Chemists explore the shape of the key that signals cell division in cancer cells
6. Nanoencapsulation: Chemists at TSRI discover a new and simple way of controlling reactions
7. Chemists spin materials to improve magnetic resonance data
8. Chemists describe "zipper teeth" of DNA molecules -- publish results in the journal Nature
9. Chemists report new approach to synthetic fragments of medically important Heparin
10. Chemists hold national meeting August 22-26
11. Chemists hold national meeting August 22-26 in New Orleans

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


(Date:3/9/2016)... YORK , March 9, 2016 This ... and future states of the RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) ... segments such as instruments, tools and reagents, data analysis, ... Analyze various segments of the RNA-Sequencing market such as ... services Identify the main factors affecting each segment and ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... Fla. , March 9, 2016  Crossmatch ... authentication and enrollment solutions, today announced the addition ... ® Altus multi-factor authentication platform. New ... InfoSec managers to step-up security where it,s needed ... Washington, DC . --> ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... , March 3, 2016  FlexTech, a SEMI Strategic ... of Innovation, Research & Development, Leadership in Education, and, ... is the 9 th year of the FLEXI ... companies and individuals from past years . Judging ... a pre-described set of criteria, by a panel of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... 2016 NanoStruck Technologies Inc. ... ( Frankfurt : 8NSK) gibt bekannt, ... 13. August 2015 die Genehmigung von der CNSX ... 200.000.000 Einheiten auf 400.000.000 Einheiten zu erhöhen, um ... wurden 157.900.000 Einheiten mit dem ersten Teil der ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... British Virgin Islands (PRWEB) , ... April 27, ... ... Holding Company Ltd. (d/b/a Biohaven) is pleased to announce the appointment of John Tilton ... he was an Executive Director and one of the founding commercial leaders responsible ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... Lamka, PhD to its Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Lamka will assist PathSensors in ... pathogen detection. , PathSensors deploys the CANARY® test platform for the detection ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells Group ... Ross is the founder of GSCG affiliate Kimera Labs in Miami. , In 2004, ... hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for hematologic disorders and the suppression of graft vs. host ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: