Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists share secret of how our cells make us tick

Date:
March 23, 2010
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Scientists have shed light on a key control process within cells that helps ensure our bodies function efficiently.

Scientists have shed light on a key control process within cells that helps ensure our bodies function efficiently.

They have defined the shape of a protein molecule at different stages as it performs a key activity within a cell -- breaking down sugar to turn it into energy.

The findings -- which enable scientists to create graphics of the molecular structure at various stages of the process -- could prove vital in informing the quest for new medicines.

Scientists hope that this initial development will lead them to gain insights into how the cells in our bodies function appropriately in response to changing needs.

Precisely how cells are regulated is a mystery which has puzzled scientists for decades. The findings help to pinpoint how cells control their activities, for example how our heart is able to pump faster when we climb stairs, or how our digestive system breaks down a big meal.

The way proteins communicate within a cell is known as the 'second secret of life' -- its importance in explaining the science of living things is ranked by scientists as second only to the discovery of DNA.

Scientists reached their findings by studying a protein from the parasite that causes sleeping sickness, which may aid the search for treatments for the disease.

The study, carried out in collaboration with the de Duve Institute, Brussels, is published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and funded by the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the European Commission.

Professor Malcolm Walkinshaw, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, who took part in the research, said: "While this study looked at a protein linked to sleeping sickness, the basic principle applies to all cells, including those in our bodies. This helps us understand how our organs work to perform everyday tasks according to the needs of our bodies, such as how our liver cells process toxins, or lung cells enable us to breathe."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. H. P. Morgan, I. W. McNae, M. W. Nowicki, V. Hannaert, P. A. M. Michels, L. A. Fothergill-Gilmore, M. D. Walkinshaw. The allosteric mechanism of pryuvate kinase from Leishmania mexicana: a rock and lock model. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2010; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M109.079905

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Scientists share secret of how our cells make us tick." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100323105950.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2010, March 23). Scientists share secret of how our cells make us tick. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100323105950.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Scientists share secret of how our cells make us tick." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100323105950.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 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