Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Proteins need chaperones: Newly discovered processes in production of proteins described

Date:
January 9, 2011
Source:
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Summary:
Why does a chaperone sitting at the end of the ribosomal tunnel need to possess characteristics that can influence the chromatin structure in the nucleus? Scientists are now a step closer to answering this question.

Young unmarried girls used to be accompanied by chaperones at social events. Their task was to prevent their charge from having undesirable romantic rendezvous with young boys. The term "molecular chaperones" is used in cellular biology to refer to a group of proteins which prevent undesirable contact between other proteins. Such contact can be particularly dangerous during protein production, a process carried out by the ribosome in the cell. The ribosome functions like a knitting spool: 20 different amino acids are threaded together like loops of thread in various sequences and amounts. The emerging amino acid chain disappears into a tunnel and does not come back out until it has reached a certain length.

A research group led by Freiburg biochemist Prof. Dr. Sabine Rospert studies how the chaperones at the end of the ribosomal tunnel influence the fate of newly synthesized proteins and how their functioning is coordinated in time and space. In 2005, the group discovered the chaperone ZRF1 at the end of the human ribosomal tunnel. ZRF1 exhibits structural characteristics which are otherwise typical only of proteins which influence the chromatin structure. Chromatin is a combination of DNA, histone, and other proteins in the nucleus of the cell. The DNA contains the information necessary for letting a ribosome know which amino acid chain it should produce. Gene segments of the DNA are translated into transcripts for this purpose, which then leave the nucleus in order to program the ribosomes for the synthesis of certain proteins.

Why does a chaperone sitting at the end of the ribosomal tunnel need to possess characteristics that can influence the chromatin structure in the nucleus? Thanks to the cooperation between Sabine Rospert's team in Freiburg and a group of researchers working under the biologist Prof. Dr. Luciano Di Croce at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain, scientists are now a step closer to answering this question. Di Croche investigates protein complexes which influence the chromatin structure and thus also the production of transcripts. Reversible modifications to histone proteins in the chromatin play a decisive role in these processes. The experiments conducted by the scientists have revealed that ZRF1 influences the modification of a histone protein, thus allowing the production of a specific group of transcripts for a limited period of time.

These results, published in the current issue of the journal Nature, constitute an important step in the quest to understand the connection between the function of ZRF1 in the ribosome and in the chromatin. The discovery that this molecular chaperone has a dual function, both in the process of transcription and in the translation of the transcripts into proteins at a different place and time, is important initial evidence for the assumption that there is a link between the regulation of the two processes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Holger Richly, Luciana Rocha-Viegas, Joana Domingues Ribeiro, Santiago Demajo, Gunes Gundem, Nuria Lopez-Bigas, Tekeya Nakagawa, Sabine Rospert, Takashi Ito, Luciano Di Croce. Transcriptional activation of polycomb-repressed genes by ZRF1. Nature, 2010; 468 (7327): 1124 DOI: 10.1038/nature09574

Cite This Page:

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. "Proteins need chaperones: Newly discovered processes in production of proteins described." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110107083733.htm>.
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. (2011, January 9). Proteins need chaperones: Newly discovered processes in production of proteins described. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110107083733.htm
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. "Proteins need chaperones: Newly discovered processes in production of proteins described." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110107083733.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) — Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) — An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
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

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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