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:10/30/2014)... a $1.04 million grant from the U.S. Army ... osteoarthritis using a patient,s own stem cells, spurred ... polymers., Liping Tang, a bioengineering professor and interim ... is primarily focused on helping soldiers who are ... if we inject microscaffolding that we,ve developed into ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... North Carolina State University researchers have developed a suite ... between dogs and humans, which has applications in everything ... our pets. , "We,ve developed a platform for computer-mediated ... to new avenues for interpreting dogs, behavioral signals and ... Dr. David Roberts, an assistant professor of computer science ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... In the largest study of its kind to date, ... genes that heighten the risk for autism. Joseph Buxbaum, ... York City, Mark Daly, Ph.D., Broad Institute of Harvard ... DNA samples from affected children, parents and unrelated people. ... to contribute to the risk for autism spectrum disorder ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):UTA researcher uses microscaffolding injections to mend cartilage, prevent osteoarthritis 2New tech aims to improve communication between dogs and humans 2
(Date:10/31/2014)... The report "Dairy Alternative (Beverage) ... Flavored, Sweetened, Unsweetened), Channel (Supermarket, Health Store, Pharmacy, ... Forecast to 2018," defines and segments the dairy ... of revenue and volume for plant-based dairy alternative ... reach $14 Billion by 2018 with the Asia-Pacific ...
(Date:10/31/2014)... ORLANDO, Fla. , Oct. 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... firm owned by Tavistock Group, celebrated the groundbreaking of ... Nona Medical City. The 92,000-square-foot, ... Central Florida designed specifically ... Located in the heart of the 650-acre Lake ...
(Date:10/30/2014)...  Ardelyx, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARDX ), ... and metabolic diseases, today announced that it will ... November 6, 2014. Following the announcement, the Ardelyx ... and webcast at 4:30pm ET to review the ... The live webcast can be accessed ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... BOSTON, MA (PRWEB) October 30, 2014 ... communication and collaboration provider, offers Office 365 end ... software into a complete phone system by adding ... Office 365 (O365) includes Lync Online, a communication ... to Lync calls. With hosted voice, O365 becomes ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Dairy Alternative Beverage Market Projected to Reach $14 Billion by 2018 - Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Dairy Alternative Beverage Market Projected to Reach $14 Billion by 2018 - Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Dairy Alternative Beverage Market Projected to Reach $14 Billion by 2018 - Report by MarketsandMarkets 4GuideWell Innovation Center Groundbreaking Hosted by Tavistock Development Company at Lake Nona Medical City 2GuideWell Innovation Center Groundbreaking Hosted by Tavistock Development Company at Lake Nona Medical City 3Ardelyx to Report Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results on November 6, 2014 2SoundConnect Launches Voice Enablement and Hybrid Audio Conferencing for Office 365 2SoundConnect Launches Voice Enablement and Hybrid Audio Conferencing for Office 365 3
Cached News: