HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Single amino acid mutation dramatically alters direction of a molecular 'motor'

DURHAM, N.C. -- Researchers from Duke University Medical Center and Tohoku University, Japan, report finding two single amino acid mutations that disrupt the sense of direction in a molecular "motor," and creating one for the first time that is equally likely to travel either up or down its track.

Molecular motors are proteins made up of amino acids like any other protein in a cell. They move along tiny filaments, called microtubules, as they transport vesicles around the cell or herd chromosomes during cell division. Most motors move toward the fast-growing end of these microtubules, but some move toward the opposite, more stable end of the microtubules. Until now, it was thought that these motors could only do one or the other.

Scientists believe that malfunctioning molecular motors might be responsible for some diseases caused by incorrect distribution of chromosomes during cell division, such as Down syndrome. By understanding how motors work, how they organize chromosomes and how they lead the cell through the division process, researchers hope to be able to understand what causes these diseases and how to prevent them.

Changing a certain amino acid in a molecular motor called Ncd, which was discovered at Duke, caused an "astonishing" result in the motor's behavior, said Sharyn Endow, lead author of the research report, which appears in the Aug. 24 issue of the journal Nature.

"We were able to create the very first bi-directional molecular motor by changing only a single amino acid," said Endow, professor of microbiology at Duke. "We didn't even know it could be done, and it's very surprising that a single mutation can do it. This solves the question of the mechanism of directionality for Ncd and probably applies to other motor proteins as well."

From the time Endow discovered Ncd in fruit flies about 10 years ago, the little motor has been an enigma. At the time, it was the first molecular motor of its kind that moved toward the
'"/>

Contact: Joanna Downer
downe010@mc.duke.edu
919-684-4148
Duke University Medical Center
22-Aug-2000


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Single isolated mouse skin cell can generate into variety of epidermal tissues
2. Single gene mutation muddying Parkinsons risk forecasts
3. Single gene controls leaf form
4. Single molecules observed
5. Single gene leap led to flea-borne transmission of plague bacterium
6. Single cell type seems to control internal clock and pupil of eye
7. Single enzyme may be linked to obesity
8. Single virus tracing sets the stage for new infection-fighting drugs and gene-therapy strategies, Science authors say
9. Single switch triggers two immune system genes
10. Single amino acid change in herpes virus prevents it from infecting neurons
11. Alzheimers Disease And Developmental Biology Linked Through Single Molecule

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/6/2017)... 5, 2017 RAM Group , ... new breakthrough in biometric authentication based on a ... properties to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are ... created by Ram Group and its partners. This sensor ... supply chains and security. Ram Group is a ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. ... company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form ... Exchange Commission. ... Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of the ... on the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from ... prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... Iowa (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... based in Vilnius, Lithuania, announced today that they have entered into a multiyear ... is to provide CRISPR researchers with additional tools for gene editing across all ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Surgical Wound Market with the addition of its newest module, US Hemostats & ... market for thrombin hemostats, absorbable hemostats, fibrin sealants, synthetic sealants and biologic sealants ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... analysis platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze and interpret ... Rosalind Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery of the ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The ... context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The ... transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: