Structure of key receptor unlocked; Related proteins will fall like dominoes

After two years of stubborn persistence, scientists at Johns Hopkins have determined the 3-D structure of part of a protein called HER3, which should speed efforts to interfere with abnormal growth and cancer.

"It took us more than two years to interpret the data and get HER3's structure," says Dan Leahy, Ph.D., a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and a professor of biophysics in Hopkins' Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences. "Now that we have it, it might take only weeks to figure out its relatives."

Reporting the structure in the Aug. 1 online version of Science, Leahy says finding out the shapes of the entire HER family of proteins, HER1, HER2 and HER4, will provide the first opportunity to rationally design new drugs to interfere with them, possibly preventing or treating select forms of cancer.

HER2, for example, is the target of the breast cancer treatment Herceptin, an antibody. But while it's an effective life-prolonging treatment in certain breast cancer patients, different strategies targeting HER2 might also prove effective. Having a protein's structure allows scientists to conceive new strategies and pursue new classes of drugs, says Leahy.

A focus of many scientists because of the proteins' involvement in cell growth, the HER family are receptors for "epidermal growth factor" (EGF) and other chemicals. Although the DNA sequences of HER proteins have been known for some time, technical problems dogged efforts to understand how the proteins are shaped, Leahy says.

"Until we know proteins' structures, we're very limited in figuring out how a molecule or possible drug might bind," says Leahy. "We now have a starting point to see how molecules binding to HER3 change its shape and turn it on."

Stuck in the cell membrane, each HER protein consists of three parts: a region outside the cell that recognizes and binds certain molecules; a region that anchors the protein in the cell membrane; and a re

Contact: Joanna Downer
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Structure solved at Scripps shows how one human protein reduces potency of chemotherapy
2. Structure solved by Scripps scientists shows one way that body controls gene expression
3. Structure of a Nobel-prize winning molecule: Aquaporin
4. Structure of HIV-neutralizing antibody solved
5. Structure of key breast cancer receptor determined
6. Structure of cog at the hub of metabolism reveals anti-ageing function
7. Structure of pain-modulating enzyme described by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute
8. Structure reveals details of cells cargo-carriers
9. New Science Press launches Proteins: From Sequence to Structure
10. Third piece completes deadly puzzle: Structure of anthrax toxin offers clues to treatment
11. Structure of key protein involved in cancer, osteoporosis and foot-and-mouth disease finally solved

Post Your Comments:

(Date:5/24/2016)... May 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology ... LCD display is the latest premium product recently added to the range of products ... ... ... 3d Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider ... MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , ... multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple complex ... any combination of fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. ... SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator , which ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... The new GEZE SecuLogic access ... "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. It can ... door interface with integration authorization management system, and thus ... minimal dimensions of the access control and the optimum ... offer considerable freedom of design with regard to the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at ... most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the ... read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ... and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 ... targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting class ... in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce ... cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, ... Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I ... President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: