Shedding light on luminescence: Scientists visualize structure of the photoprotein aequorin

Anyone who's spent time at a beach on a warm summer night has seen them: luminescing ctenophores that twinkle like tiny stars in moonlit waters. No one knows exactly why these comb jellies flicker and glow, but Marine Biological Laboratory (Cape Cod, Massachusetts) senior scientist Osamu Shimomura now knows a lot more about the structure of the remarkable protein that is not only responsible for this phenomenon, but has proved to be an invaluable tool for researchers studying the role of calcium in disease.

In this week's issue of the journal Nature, Shimomura and his colleagues James Head from Boston University, Katsunori Teranishi from Mei University (Japan), and Satoshi Inouye from Chisso Corporation (Japan), describe the three-dimensional crystal structure of aequorin, the photoprotein that illuminates jellyfish, ctenophores and many other luminescing organisms. The study was supported by the National Science Foundation.

"The work of these investigators has clearly demonstrated how insights into the structure of a protein lead to insights into its biological function...with great potential for molecular modeling and designing new sensors for monitoring other ions in a cell," according to Ralph Addison, program director in NSF's biophysics program, which supported this work.

Since his discovery of aequorin 38 years ago, Shimomura's life's work has been devoted to shedding light on luminescence-a complex chemical reaction within an organism's cells that results in the release of energy in the form of light instead of heat. Shimomura determined years ago that aequorin glows blue when tiny amounts of calcium bind to it.

This discovery led to the use of aequorin as an important biomedical tool for tracking the movement of calcium within cells. Calcium plays a crucial role in the regulation of a variety of biological processes including fertilization, muscle contraction, and the transmission of nerve impulses. Clinicians also recognize tha

Contact: Cheryl Dybas
National Science Foundation

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Shedding new light on biology
2. Shedding Light on Disease: A Briefing for Journalists
3. Shedding light on the origin of primate color vision
4. Shedding Light On Circadian Rhythms
5. Highlights of the October 2004 Journal of the American Dietetic Association
6. 16 APS exercise research highlights, from reduced flu mortality to proteomics & obesity
7. New fossil sheds light on old mystery
8. Posters highlight water, energy and other natural resource research
9. Select research highlights from current AACR journals
10. Other highlights in the September 1 JNCI
11. Highlights of American Chemical Society national meeting in Philadelphia, Aug. 22-26

Post Your Comments:

(Date:8/5/2020)... ... , ... Regenative Labs has received approval from the Centers for Medicare & ... first Wharton’s jelly allografts to be assigned a Q code and be approved for ... Wharton’s jelly allograft product to be recognized as a 361 HCT/P by CMS regulated ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... July 16, 2020 , ... A study has been published ... Neoasis™ active noise control device to attenuate typical noises in a simulated neonatal ... the alarm sounds from patient monitors, ventilators and other bedside devices that would ...
(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... AltruBio Inc. http://www.altrubio.com ... a biologic for the treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (SR-aGVHD), at European ... J Martin of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, this single-arm, open-label Phase ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/12/2020)... FARMS, Mich. (PRWEB) , ... August 12, 2020 ... ... Consulting Group, Inc. (EMMA International), a global leader in FDA compliance consulting ... of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 03, 2020 , ... ... collection, today announced Jim Corrigan, President and CEO has been named one of ... broad cross-section of industry sectors, PharmaVoice 100 honorees are selected based on how ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... R3 Stem Cell International is ... $3950. With 50 million stem cells total, patients may choose which extremities they would ... for arthritic joints (BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2016). At R3 International, umbilical cord tissue is ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... ... transmitter systems that can be configured to drive Klystrons, TWTs, IOTs, and magnetrons. ... drive one or two switches in a push-pull configuration; yielding fast fall time ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: