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 September 16, 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 September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
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