HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Ghost protein leaves fresh tracks in the cell

Spectrin and ankyrin are two essential proteins acting like bricks and mortar to shape and fortify cell membranes. But distinguishing which protein is the brick and which is the mortar has turned out to be difficult. New evidence suggests that spectrin can do both jobs at once.

Ron Dubreuil, associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, reports the finding in the Oct. 23 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology.

Spectrin was first discovered in red blood cells, where it forms a protein scaffold under the cell's membrane. It was named for its ability to maintain the shape of cell "ghosts," which have been emptied of their contents. Ankyrin serves as the mortar that attaches spectrin to the red blood cell membrane.

Dubreuil and his UIC co-workers have spent a decade looking at different types of cells -- mostly epithelial -- trying to learn what cues tell spectrin where to assemble in cells. They use the fruit fly as their test animal because its genetic makeup has many striking similarities to humans.

"In our study, we showed spectrin doesn't have to bind to ankyrin to do its job," said Dubreuil. "This hints at a complexity we never had any idea about in trying to understand how these molecules work."

Dubreuil and his colleagues initially assumed that ankyrin was the key to targeting spectrin in all cells. But research in many laboratories had failed to find a cue for targeting that acted through ankyrin, so Dubreuil reworked his hypothesis.

"We decided to throw out our assumptions and start fresh," he said.

A laboratory fly was genetically engineered so that spectrin could no longer bind to ankyrin -- which, Dubreuil assumed, meant that spectrin should no longer attach to the membrane.

"We thought that was going to kill the function of the protein," he said, "but it didn't affect the ability of the protein to reach its destination at all. The molecule target
'"/>

Contact: Paul Francuch
francuch@uic.edu
312-996-3457
University of Illinois at Chicago
30-Oct-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Penn researchers discover how key protein stops inflammation
2. UCF research links proteins, stem cells and potential Alzheimers treatment
3. Teamwork between 2 key proteins necessary for normal development and regulation of red blood cells
4. Discovery of new protein could provide new understanding of male fertility
5. Unlocking proteins from their cellular shell
6. Altering a protein makes mice less fearful
7. New research identifies anti-viral protein that may predict who might be at risk to develop lupus
8. MicroRNA works with Ago2 protein to regulate blood cell development
9. Carnegie Mellon scientists find key HIV protein makes cell membranes bend more easily
10. Call for EU to launch major project to map out all our proteins
11. New role for protein in fat cells may improve understanding of obesity and diabetes

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


(Date:8/1/2019)... ... July 30, 2019 , ... ... George B. and Joy Rathmann Professor in Bioprocessing and Director of the Amgen ... in the life sciences industry and possesses more than 25 years of global ...
(Date:8/1/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Advancements with Ted Danson to focus on ... , Factor Bioscience Inc. (Factor) is pioneering nucleic-acid and cell-based technologies to advance ... of Advancements will explore how Factor Bioscience is building the future of regenerative ...
(Date:7/26/2019)... ... July 26, 2019 , ... ... interview with Helius Medical Technologies CEO Phil Deschamps to discuss their potential new ... Medical Technologies is a neurotech company in the medical device industry that's ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/6/2019)... , ... August 06, 2019 , ... ... University Edwardsville for the launch of a community project that will engage middle ... grant supports the project, entitled “A Youth-Led Citizen Science Network for Community Environmental ...
(Date:7/19/2019)... ... July 18, 2019 , ... Global precision motion and ... current piezo motion facilities in Lederhose, Germany, increasing their current footprint by half ... assembly production in addition to general office space, a significant increase to its ...
(Date:7/11/2019)... ... ... At the most recent stem cell training course in Las ... R3 Heroes Program. The Veterans included individuals and families from all over the US, ... a military Veteran, teacher or first responder to receive a regenerative therapy at a ...
(Date:6/18/2019)... ... June 17, 2019 , ... IVERIC ... into an agreement for production and manufacturing of GMP-grade adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector ... autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (RHO-adRP) and IC-200 for the treatment of BEST1 related ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: