Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cell's 'Quality Control' Mechanism Discovered

Date:
July 30, 2008
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a key component of the quality control mechanism that operates inside human cells -- sometimes too well. The breakthrough has significant implications for the development of new treatments for cystic fibrosis and some other hereditary diseases, the researchers say.

Researchers in Japan and Canada have discovered a key component of the quality control mechanism that operates inside human cells – sometimes too well. The breakthrough has significant implications for the development of new treatments for cystic fibrosis (CF) and some other hereditary diseases, the researchers say.

Their results were published July 25 in the journal Science.

Dr. Kazahiro Nagata and colleagues at Kyoto University and the Japan Science Technology Agency, and Dr. David Thomas and Dr. Gregor Jansen at McGill University in Montreal, have discovered the important role played by an enzyme called ERdj5 inside the cell's endoplasmic reticulum (ER).

The ER acts as a sort of packaging plant that folds and prepares proteins for distribution inside or outside the cell. But when proteins are misfolded in the ER, they must be destroyed in a degradation process – and that is where ERdj5 comes into play.

"ERdj5 is like a quality control inspector," explained Dr. Thomas, McGill's Chair of Biochemistry and Canada Research Chair in Molecular Genetics. "If you ever owned an AMC Pacer and you now drive a BMW, you know the difference quality control can make. That's what ERdj5 does, it recognizes when a protein has 'manufacturing defects' and degrades it before it can be distributed."

The ERdj5 enzyme is the first protein found to be capable of breaking the disulfide bonds that hold the misfolded proteins together in the ER. Once those bonds are broken, the researchers say ERdj5 also helps other enzymes and molecules break down the misfolded proteins completely so that the constituent amino acids can be recycled for further protein synthesis.

"Unfortunately, the mechanism sometimes works a little too well," Dr. Thomas said. "It insists on BMW quality when a Honda would do. For example, some people carry a mutated version of the protein CFTR. The mutated protein is damaged but would still work fine if it were distributed, but in some individuals, the quality control mechanism insists on degrading it. It's the degradation of the protein, not the mutation itself, which causes cystic fibrosis. We're hoping this discovery will open up new avenues of research into treatments for CF."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

McGill University. "Cell's 'Quality Control' Mechanism Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080729133525.htm>.
McGill University. (2008, July 30). Cell's 'Quality Control' Mechanism Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080729133525.htm
McGill University. "Cell's 'Quality Control' Mechanism Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080729133525.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
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