Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists decode TREX which could see new treatments for cancer realized

Date:
August 14, 2012
Source:
University of Sheffield
Summary:
Scientists have decoded the processes which create proteins in all forms of life which - for the first time - opens the door to fixing these problems which can cause fatal health problems like motor neuron disease, myotonic dystrophy and cancer.

The pink shows where messenger RNA has got stuck in the nucleus of human cells.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Sheffield

Decoded process could hold the key to future treatments for a wide range of chronic health problems including motor neuron disease, myotonic dystrophy and a wide range of cancers, University of Sheffield scientists have revealed.

Experts from the University's Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, collaborating with scientists from Harvard Medical School in the USA, have revealed how a complicated set of proteins called TREX act as a passport for the transfer of cell blueprints which create proteins that are essential for life.

The researchers believe their better understanding will mean they can ultimately fix problems in the process which cause fatal health conditions like motor neuron disease, myotonic dystrophy and a wide range of cancers.

Professor Stuart Wilson, who led the groundbreaking project, said: "Protein production is an essential part of life for all organisms. This process involves reading the code in genes and converting this to a message which is ultimately decoded to make a protein.

"The message is made of a special molecule called mRNA. In all organisms from yeast through to man the mRNA is made in a compartment in the cell called the nucleus, but then has to be transported to a separate compartment, called the cytoplasm, where it is decoded to make a protein. This process of mRNA transport is essential for life and when it malfunctions in humans it can lead to diseases such as motor neuron disease or cancer."

Researchers have shown how proteins called TREX provide a mark on the mRNA which acts as the passport which unlocks a transporter protein called Nxf1, allowing it to land on the mRNA and transport it to the cytoplasm to create proteins.

Professor Wilson added: "When a car is built in a factory, it goes through various stages of production with parts being added and, hopefully, quality control checks before it is driven out of the factory and into the salesroom.

"Similarly mRNA goes through various modifications in the nucleus, with bits added on and other sections removed. Only when the mRNA reaches the end of the production line in the nucleus and passes all the quality control checks is it given the passport which allows it to be transported to the cytoplasm and then used to make proteins.

"Until now, it has not been clear how the cell knows when the mRNA has reached the end of the production line in the nucleus and thus when it should be given a passport allowing passage to the cytoplasm. Now we have identified how the passport is issued, allowing the mRNA transport and the production of proteins in the cell which is essential for life."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Sheffield. "Scientists decode TREX which could see new treatments for cancer realized." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120814110912.htm>.
University of Sheffield. (2012, August 14). Scientists decode TREX which could see new treatments for cancer realized. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120814110912.htm
University of Sheffield. "Scientists decode TREX which could see new treatments for cancer realized." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120814110912.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) 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