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:
TAG: Chemists characterize regulators zinc intake and export cells

(Date:11/6/2014)... is an asset for a predator. Except when that predator ... tiger beetle, relative to its size, is the fastest creature ... body lengths per second (at about five miles per hour). ... take the sprinting gold from the tiger beetle, a person ... The tiger beetle has a problem. At peak speeds, everything ...
(Date:11/5/2014)... Janeiro, Brazil -Individuals show great diversity in their ability ... and females greatly differ in their perceptual evaluation of ... smell tests. , Sex differences in olfactory ... and may be connected to one,s perception of smell, ... Thus, women,s olfactory superiority has been suggested to be ...
(Date:11/4/2014)... CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 4, 2014) — Think about ... and ask: How do neighboring cells know that they ... cell and how do these tissues find the correct ... (UM) are answering these crucial questions. , In a ... tissues use to communicate with their surrounding neighbors, at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):The tiger beetle: Too fast to see 2The female nose always knows: Do women have more olfactory neurons? 2The inside story: How the brain and skull stay together 2
(Date:11/21/2014)... Why did Stephen Hawking become so famous? ... recognizable? Why have they become icons to rival film ... Ratcliffe seeks out the answers to those questions, and ... with science. In " Stephen Hawking Smoked My Socks ... Ratcliffe puts it plainly: , “It is profoundly ...
(Date:11/21/2014)... Nov. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... that it has closed a brokered private placement ... approximately C$3.7 million.  Cormark Securities Inc. and Clarus ... Brokered Offering for a syndicate of agents that ... Corp. (collectively the "Agents"). Concurrently with the Brokered ...
(Date:11/18/2014)... 17, 2014 RPS Diagnostics (RPS®) ... – today announces its third annual partnership of ... Get Smart About Antibiotics Week from November 17-23. ... national campaign designed to highlight the coordinated efforts ... non-profit and for-profit partners to provide education about ...
(Date:11/18/2014)... (PRWEB) November 18, 2014 Alanda ... and Transparency Reporting solutions, announced today that a ... using its Consummate Provider™ solution in both the ... a Global, SaaS based, Data Quality remediation portal, ... their third party Providers improve their ability to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:“Stephen Hawking Smoked My Socks” Sparks Controversy in Science World 2“Stephen Hawking Smoked My Socks” Sparks Controversy in Science World 3“Stephen Hawking Smoked My Socks” Sparks Controversy in Science World 4Aequus Pharmaceuticals closes $4.2 million private placement financing 2Aequus Pharmaceuticals closes $4.2 million private placement financing 3RPS Again Partners with the CDC in Support of the 2014 Get Smart About Antibiotics Week 2RPS Again Partners with the CDC in Support of the 2014 Get Smart About Antibiotics Week 3Alanda Software Completes Successful Implementation of Global Data Quality & Vendor Management Solution for Top Tier Global Biopharmaceutical Company 2
Cached News: