Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Identification Of Protein Domain Contributes To Safer Food

Date:
May 25, 2009
Source:
Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA)
Summary:
Researchers have identified the protein component responsible for regulating innate immunity in humans and animals. They furthermore discovered that comparable changes in this regulating mechanism lead to comparable disruptions in human and plant immune systems. Their findings will contribute to the development of foods less vulnerable to disease and, moreover, to a better understanding of human autoimmune disorders.

In plants, certain mutations give rise to phenomena like ‘paranoid plants' - where plants defend themselves against illusory pathogens.
Credit: Gerben van Ooijen.

Researchers at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Wageningen University and Research Centre (UR) have identified the protein component responsible for regulating innate immunity in humans and animals. They furthermore discovered that comparable changes in this regulating mechanism lead to comparable disruptions in human and plant immune systems.

Their findings, published in the journal Science, will contribute to the development of foods less vulnerable to disease and, moreover, to a better understanding of human autoimmune disorders.

The immune system uses so-called receptors to recognise germs. Scientists already knew that receptor proteins in plants and animals (in everything from sea urchins to humans) have very similar structures. Changes in these receptors can lead to a weakened or, conversely, to an overactive immune system, resulting in various autoimmune disorders. Examples in humans include diseases like Crohn disease, sarcoidosis, gout and Blau syndrome. In plants, these mutations give rise to phenomena like ‘paranoid plants’ – where plants defend themselves against illusory pathogens.

The article by Frank Takken (UvA) and Wladimir Tameling (UR) discusses the molecular mechanism responsible for regulating these immune receptors in plants. Because these receptors determine the difference between a healthy plant and a sick – or even dead – plant, good regulation is essential. That means ‘standby’ in the absence of germs, but being activated quickly upon infection. Takken and Tameling previously discovered that the central domain of these large so-called multi-domain receptors takes the lead role in regulation. They show that this regulation mechanism is similar in both plant and human immune receptors.

Multi-domain receptors

The term ‘multi-domain receptor’ refers to a protein consisting of multiple modules, each with its own distinct function. The receptor is comparable to a fire alarm, with a smoke detector, a control unit to detect when the sensor is activated and an alarm bell. Each component has its own task, and the removal of one of those components means the device as a whole breaks down. The same is true for these proteins. They have a component ensuring that the pathogen is recognised (the smoke detector), another that encodes and conveys this information (control unit) and a third component that transmits the signal to other proteins, which then act to turn on a cell’s defence system (alarm bells).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Takken et al. To Nibble at Plant Resistance Proteins. Science, 2009; 324 (5928): 744 DOI: 10.1126/science.1171666

Cite This Page:

Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA). "Identification Of Protein Domain Contributes To Safer Food." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519075424.htm>.
Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA). (2009, May 25). Identification Of Protein Domain Contributes To Safer Food. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519075424.htm
Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA). "Identification Of Protein Domain Contributes To Safer Food." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519075424.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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