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:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com ... Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... will focus on developing health and wellness apps that ... Hack the Genome is the first hackathon for ... world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech and health ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... The report "Video Surveillance Market ... Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service (VSaaS, ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was valued ... to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at a ... year considered for the study is 2016 and the ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... -- The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology ... Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth ... and 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... October ... ... a development-stage cancer-focused pharmaceutical company advancing targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today ... of targeted HPLN (Hybrid Polymerized Liposomal Nanoparticle), a technology developed in collaboration ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... and business process optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces ... conference in San Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... of medical marijuana products targeting the needs of consumers who are incorporating medical ... takes place in Phoenix, Arizona. , As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... the healthcare and technology sector at their fourth annual Conference where founders, investors, ... inspiring speakers and the ELEVATE pitch competition showcasing early stage digital health and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: