Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Locate Disease Switches

Date:
July 18, 2009
Source:
University of Copenhagen
Summary:
A team of scientists has identified no less than 3,600 molecular switches in the human body. These switches, which regulate protein functions, may prove to be a crucial factor in human aging and the onset and treatment of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

A team of scientists from the University of Copenhagen and the Max Planck Institute in Germany, using groundbreaking technology, has identified no less than 3,600 molecular switches in the human body.

These switches, which regulate protein functions, may prove to be a crucial factor in human ageing and the onset and treatment of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

New perspectives in the treatment of disease

The team, led by Professor Matthias Mann of Novo Nordisk Center for Protein Research at the University of Copenhagen and the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Germany, have detected 3,600 acetylation switches in 1,750 different proteins.

"This is more than just a technological achievement, it has also expanded the number of known acetylation switches by a factor of six, and it gives us for the first time a comprehensive insight into this type of protein modification," says Professor Mann.

A given protein can perform more than one task, and how it behaves is regulated by adding a small molecule that acts as a 'switch' which can turn on the different tasks. Acetylation is essential for cells' ability to function normally. Defective protein regulation plays a role in ageing and the development of diseases such as cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

"With the new mapping, we can now begin to study and describe how acetylation switches respond to medications that could repair the defects on them. It can have a major impact on medical care," says Professor Mann, adding that medications to repair the damaged protein regulation are already showing promising in the treatment of cancer.

Cooperating proteins

The team also discovered that acetylation modification occurs primarily on proteins that work together, and that these switches have much greater consequences for the organism's function than previously thought. In one example, the function of Cdc28, an important growth protein in yeast, can be disrupted by the addition of an acetylation button, ultimately affecting the organism's ability to survive.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Choudhary et al. Lysine Acetylation Targets Protein Complexes and Co-Regulates Major Cellular Functions. Science, 2009; DOI: 10.1126/science.1175371

Cite This Page:

University of Copenhagen. "Scientists Locate Disease Switches." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090717104614.htm>.
University of Copenhagen. (2009, July 18). Scientists Locate Disease Switches. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090717104614.htm
University of Copenhagen. "Scientists Locate Disease Switches." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090717104614.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) 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