HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Heavy metal research is music to biologists' ears

Crab and lobster are more than perennial summer favorites--they are also a good dietary source of copper. Yes, the stuff of pennies is crucial for life--the metal copper is an important helper to many cellular enzymes, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), which sops up dangerous "free radicals" that accumulate inside cells. Defects in SOD have been linked to some inherited forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

In an important advance in understanding the molecular underpinnings of this disease, scientists supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) have deciphered the three-dimensional structure of a yeast copper "chaperone" protein, a molecule that transports copper to the SOD enzyme. Although copper is necessary for life, it is a potentially toxic "heavy metal" that--in the wrong cellular locale--can damage other molecules, and in some cases can even cause disease. As the name suggests, the copper chaperone protein protects copper from unwanted cellular interactions and safely delivers it to its destination.

The work also identifies a potential target for developing drugs to treat Lou Gehrig's disease, a uniformly fatal condition.

The research report appears in the August 1999 issue of the journal Nature Structural Biology.

A little over six years ago, scientists first linked Lou Gehrig's disease to SOD by showing that some people with the disease had "misspellings" in the gene that encodes SOD. The finding prompted a series of studies aimed at determining how copper gets inserted into this prevalent cellular enzyme. In 1997, Dr. Valeria Culotta of The Johns Hopkins University, collaborating with Dr. Thomas O'Halloran of Northwestern University, first discovered a protein that ferries copper molecules throughout a yeast cell; they coined it a copper chaperone. (Further research has shown that the yeast chaperone is very similar to its counterpart in humans.) Around the s
'"/>

Contact: Alison Davis
davisa@nigms.nih.gov
301-496-7301
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences
28-Jul-1999


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Heavy consumption of tainted fish curbs adult learning and memory
2. Old Sins Industrial Metabolism, Heavy Metal Pollution, and Environmental Transition in Central Europe
3. Engineered Bacteria Scavenge Heavy Metals
4. Dartmouth Medical School Researchers Discover Heavy Metal Contamination In Northern Mexico
5. Heavy Traffic At The Nuclear Pore: How Proteins And RNA Leave The Cell Nucleus
6. Ecological Farming May Cause More Heavy Metals In The Soil
7. PET Project Helps Reduce Pollution Threat From Heavy Metals
8. Purdue study finds antioxidant protects metal-eating plants
9. Innovative ceramic-on-metal hip replacements to undergo clinical trials
10. A new hope for heavy metal contaminated soils
11. UCSD biologists discover key step for designer plants that could clean up heavy metals

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Heavy metal research music biologists ears

(Date:4/22/2014)... in two Minnesota cities demonstrate how communities can ... a ten year program in New England and ... to local conditions. , "Our goal is to ... said program co-leader Latham Stack, of Syntectic International, ... worsened. We help communities move beyond feeling paralyzed ...
(Date:4/21/2014)... is commonly used as a farm soil fertilizer, contains ... from the cows, gut bacteria. The findings, reported in ... American Society for Microbiology, hints that cow manure is ... genes that transfer to bacteria in the soils where ... (AR) genes have already been identified, but the vast ...
(Date:4/21/2014)... are on the decline in the Galpagos. , A new ... indicates numbers of the iconic birds, known for their ... attract mates, have fallen more than 50 percent in less ... is probably due to an unexplained disappearance of sardines from ... at Wake Forest University and the study,s principal investigator. This ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Minnesota projects offer hope and practical help to communities facing more extreme storms 2Cow manure harbors diverse new antibiotic resistance genes 2Cow manure harbors diverse new antibiotic resistance genes 3Lack of breeding threatens blue-footed boobies' survival 2Lack of breeding threatens blue-footed boobies' survival 3
(Date:1/15/2014)... The Pittcon Organizing Committee is pleased to announce that ... an e-Journal and producer of Food Labs Conference ... for the co-location of Food Labs Conference to be held ... registration fee to attend the two-day Food Lab Conference, March ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2014 Look inside the new Preferred ... the lab, from fluid handling to instruments to supplies. ... when you order. , Preferred Solutions features a ... the L/S® model for precise flow control and dispensing ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... California , January 15, 2014 Oxford ... today announced the appointment of Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD ... years, development experience gained in the biotechnology industry, most recently ... am delighted to welcome Tom at this transformative time for ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... This webinar will focus on EMA and ... in biosimilars. , Regulatory frameworks are evolving many countries ... the complex nature of biopharmaceuticals makes the demonstration of ... challenging. Based on the specific aspects of biosimilar drug ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Pittcon Announces Second Year Partnership With Food Safety Tech 2Pittcon Announces Second Year Partnership With Food Safety Tech 3Cole-Parmer Begins 2014 with the Release of Preferred Solutions 2Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 2Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 3Xtalks Life Sciences Webinar Examines Safety Assessment of Biosimilars 2
Cached News: