HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Rice, Iowa state biologists search for 'half-fusion'

HOUSTON, May 16, 2005 Every living cell is surrounded by a membrane, a thin barrier that separates the genetic machinery of life from the non-living world outside. Though barriers, membranes are not impervious. Cells use a complex hierarchy of proteins that work in concert to allow cell membranes to fuse with other cells or with membrane-encased packages of proteins and other chemicals that the cell needs to take in or release.

Though well-studied, the molecular details of membrane fusion remain mysterious. In particular, scientists don't understand how holes form between two membranes, but a new study by biochemists at Rice University and Iowa State University offers intriguing new clues about the nature of this process. The study is published in this month's issue of Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.

"Membrane fusion is one of the most basic processes of life," said James McNew, assistant professor of biochemistry and cell biology at Rice University. "It begins at fertilization and occurs billions of times a second in our bodies, and if it ever stops, we die."

For example, inside the cells in our brains, spines and nerves, membranes are used to seal up and transport tiny packets of signaling chemicals from the center of the cell to the outer cell membrane. These packets, or vesicles, wait just inside the cell membrane for the appropriate signal, and once they receive it, they fuse with the membrane and eject their contents into the surrounding tissue, causing an immediate chain reaction that keeps our hearts beating and allows us to move our muscles. Membrane fusion is also used to initiate disease.

"Some invading organisms like enveloped viruses use the fusion process to infect the cell," McNew said.

To understand membrane fusion, it helps to envision the basic structure of membranes. Just five billionths of meter across, membranes are bilayers, meaning they contain two separate layers, or sheets of fatty
'"/>


16-May-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. No evidence that widely prescribed statins protect against prostate cancer
2. U-M researchers find family of on switches that cause prostate cancer
3. Waters off Washington state only second place in world where glass sponge reefs found
4. 20 Kentucky firms share $1.9 million from state to match federal SBIR-STTR awards
5. Success rates for prostate cancer depend on experience of surgeon
6. Study identifies a common genetic risk factor for colorectal and prostate cancer
7. Rutgers, Penn researchers capture research dollars to improve prostate cancer diagnostic methods
8. Study identifies 5 genetic themes key to keeping stem cells in a primitive, flexible state
9. BRCA2 carriers at increased risk for deadly form of prostate cancer
10. Researchers track how spores break out of dormant state
11. No magic tomato? Study breaks link between lycopene and prostate cancer prevention

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


(Date:8/26/2020)... , ... August 24, 2020 , ... ... the treatment of chronic inflammatory and fibrotic diseases, today announced that Dr. Stacie ... of Drug Discovery. , Dr. Canan previously served as Executive Director of Global ...
(Date:8/23/2020)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... August 21, 2020 , ... ... Rigaku Corporation has been published and is now available on the ... crystal X-ray diffraction—serves the X-ray analysis community, presenting current news and crystallographic research. ...
(Date:8/21/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 20, 2020 , ... ... that Hassan Movahhed , a Clinical Operations executive with expertise in clinical ... has joined the firm as an Expert Consultant. Throughout his career, Mr. Movahhed ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... ... R3 Stem Cell International is now offering patients the opportunity to receive four ... may choose which extremities they would like treated. , Several studies have shown just ... R3 International, umbilical cord tissue is obtained from a lab with a long history ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... 29, 2020 , ... Anomet Products has introduced new custom ... use with CRM, neurostimulation, vascular, and related devices. , Anomet Medical Clad ... performance, and cost criteria; especially where solid wire is limited. Typical configurations for ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... The SDX® ... in 16 countries, has reached its 20th anniversary of worldwide use. Introduced in ... at top universities including University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, University of Maryland, ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... 16, 2020 , ... After research model surgery and catheter implantation, the long ... only the beginning of a successful study, while protecting and accessing the catheter or ... Head of Surgery from Envigo in a live webinar on ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: