Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biosynthetic process that makes all metabolism possible elucidated

Date:
December 14, 2012
Source:
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen (LMU)
Summary:
At crucial points in the metabolism of all organisms, a protein with the unwieldy name of Translation Elongation Factor P (EF-P, for short) takes center stage. What it actually does during protein synthesis has only now been elucidated.

At crucial points in the metabolism of all organisms, a protein with the unwieldy name of Translation Elongation Factor P (EF-P, for short) takes center stage. What it actually does during protein synthesis has only now been elucidated -- by researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitδt in Munich.

Related Articles


The research group led by Kirsten Jung, Professor of Microbiology at LMU, actually focused on how bacteria cope with stress, for example how the receptor meolecule CadC monitors the acidity in the environment and alerts the cell to take countermeasures to protect itself. However, one day Kirsten Jung found herself asking questions about protein synthesis, the core biosynthetic process that makes all metabolism possible. This arose because she discovered that, in the absence of Elongation Factor P, the cell doesn't make enough CadC to carry out its job effectively.

Recovering from a stall

How then does EF-P regulate protein synthesis in general, and, in particular, the synthesis of CadC?  In collaboration with Daniel Wilson's group at LMU's Gene Center, Jung's team has now teased out the mechanism. Molecular machines called ribosomes translate the genetic blueprints for proteins into the correct sequence of amino acids as they move along a messenger RNA molecule. However, when the blueprint calls for the addition of several successive proline amino acids onto the growing protein chain, the ribosomes grind to a halt. It turns out that EF-P is required to get these stalled ribosomes going again. Moreover, the factor not only fulfills this function in bacteria and in archaea, but also in the cells of eukaryotic organisms, which have their own versions of EF-P.

Jung and Wilson, who also cooperate within the context of the "Center for integrated Protein Science Munich," an Excellence Cluster, believe that the translation stop imposed by a short run of prolines provides a means of adjusting protein copy numbers in response to changing conditions. In bacteria, a functionally diverse set of around 100 proteins is known to contain such proline-rich motifs. This suggests that the stalling phenomenon indeed has a more general regulatory role, and may even provide a target for new antibiotics. Indeed, Daniel Wilson's group recently discovered the last enzyme in the EF-P modification pathway: For its rescue activity, the factor must be modified by other enzymes -- which are not found in humans.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen (LMU). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Ude, J. Lassak, A. L. Starosta, T. Kraxenberger, D. N. Wilson, K. Jung. Translation Elongation Factor EF-P Alleviates Ribosome Stalling at Polyproline Stretches. Science, 2012; DOI: 10.1126/science.1228985

Cite This Page:

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen (LMU). "Biosynthetic process that makes all metabolism possible elucidated." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121214112637.htm>.
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen (LMU). (2012, December 14). Biosynthetic process that makes all metabolism possible elucidated. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121214112637.htm
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen (LMU). "Biosynthetic process that makes all metabolism possible elucidated." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121214112637.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) — Ancient techniques of growing greens with fish and water are well ahead of Toronto bylaws. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chihuahua Sleeps on Top of Great Dane

Chihuahua Sleeps on Top of Great Dane

Rumble (Jan. 27, 2015) — As this giant Great Dane lays down for bedtime he accompanied by an adorable companion. Watch a tiny Chihuahua jump up and prepare to sleep on top of his friend. Now that&apos;s a pretty big bed! Credit to &apos;emma_hussey01&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Locust Plague Could Mean Famine For Millions

Madagascar Locust Plague Could Mean Famine For Millions

Newsy (Jan. 27, 2015) — The Food and Agriculture Organization says millions could face famine in Madagascar without more funding to finish locust eradication efforts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) — A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) 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:

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