Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cystic Fibrosis Proteins Photographed Interacting

Date:
December 10, 2007
Source:
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Summary:
New microscopic pictures show the first-ever physical evidence of interaction between two proteins involved in cystic fibrosis (CF) disease. UAB studied a CF-causing protein and another protein called epithelial sodium channel, or ENaC. Both proteins are known to play a role in CF, but exactly what role each plays is unclear.

UAB's laser-scanning microscope pictures of two proteins (red and green shapes) involved in Cystic Fibrosis, with orange tint at the bottom showing interaction.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Alabama at Birmingham

New microscopic pictures show the first-ever physical evidence of interaction between two proteins involved in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) disease.

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) studied a CF-causing protein and another protein called epithelial sodium channel, or ENaC. Both proteins are known to play a role in CF, but exactly what role each plays is unclear.

The new pictures provide physical proof that these two proteins occur close enough to interact with each other, the UAB researchers said. When that interaction fails then a dangerous biochemical imbalance occurs in people diagnosed with CF.

Knowing more about this protein proximity will help scientists better understand the biological underpinnings of CF and may speed the discovery of new drugs to treat or cure the disease. CF affects 70,000 people worldwide, 30,000 in the United States.

“Our findings suggest a direct interaction between these two proteins and their proximity makes the evidence convincing,” said Bakhrom Berdiev, M.D., Ph.D., a UAB assistant professor of cell biology and lead author on the study.

The study was conducted using a laser-scanning microscope that captured images of the two proteins “within reach of each other. The absence of this interaction could shape the development of CF,” Berdiev said.

Normally, both proteins help make up the lining of the lungs and other membranes, and keep the balance of water and salt at safe levels. In the case of CF, ENaC is allowed to hyper-function in the presence of the CF-causing protein and disturb the balance of water and salt.

When this happens, a sticky mucus usually forms inside the airways which can lead to chronic lung infections, the most dangerous symptom of CF. Other symptoms involve digestive problems.

With the discovery of the CF gene in 1989, many scientists began searching for ways to repair the DNA or repair the faulty protein encoded by the DNA.

The new Journal of Biological Chemistry study shows that future research should look at other molecules not directly linked to CF but are involved in the disease process and its side effects, Berdiev said.

Also, the new pictures add to an ever-changing biophysical “map” of CF used to design future research.

The new pictures were done through collaboration between UAB’s departments of Cell Biology, Physiology & Biophysics, High Resolution Imaging Facility and the Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center at UAB. Other collaborators are from Ohio State University, the University of Toronto, Ontario, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland and Lambert Instruments in the Netherlands.

The findings are published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, which included a color photo from the UAB study on its cover. Funding for the study came from the National Institutes of Health and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alabama at Birmingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Cystic Fibrosis Proteins Photographed Interacting." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071207150735.htm>.
University of Alabama at Birmingham. (2007, December 10). Cystic Fibrosis Proteins Photographed Interacting. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071207150735.htm
University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Cystic Fibrosis Proteins Photographed Interacting." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071207150735.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uganda on Alert for Ebola but No Confirmed Cases

Uganda on Alert for Ebola but No Confirmed Cases

AFP (July 31, 2014) Uganda's health minister said on Thursday that there are no confirmed cases of Ebola in the country, but that it remained on alert for cases of the deadly virus. Uganda has suffered Ebola outbreaks in the past, most recently in 2012. Duration: 00:59 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins