Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Metabolite damage-control: How our cells cope with toxic small molecules

Date:
January 30, 2013
Source:
Université du Luxembourg
Summary:
Scientists have reviewed an important, but so far neglected, part of metabolism, namely metabolite damage-control. Researchers now present a comprehensive overview of the known reactions generating unwanted small molecules in the cell as well as of the corresponding control mechanisms, and discuss the importance of this ‘quality control’ for cellular and organismal health.

In this week's issue of the journal Nature Chemical Biology, scientists Carole Linster (University of Luxembourg), Emile Van Schaftingen (Louvain University), and Andrew D. Hanson (University of Florida, Gainesville) review an important, but so far neglected, part of metabolism, namely metabolite damage-control. In their publication 'Metabolite damage and its repair or pre-emption', the authors present a comprehensive overview of the known reactions generating unwanted small molecules in the cell as well as of the corresponding control mechanisms, and discuss the importance of this 'quality control' for cellular and organismal health.

Related Articles


"Damage-control in metabolism represents an entirely new concept, that shifts our view from linear metabolic pathways sustained by highly specific enzymes to more complex networks that take into account numerous damage and repair reactions," explains Dr. Carole Linster, a young group leader at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB), and hopes that her and others new research findings will lead to a change of paradigm in metabolism.

The molecules that constitute living cells are constantly subject to damaging reactions and fixing this damage immediately is crucial for cellular health and survival. Damage-control must therefore have existed since the dawn of life, and the repair mechanisms that cells have adopted throughout evolution have been studied by scientists for decades. But until recently, most researchers have focused their attention on the repair mechanisms acting on large molecules such as DNA and proteins, while damage-control of small molecules, called metabolites, has mostly been overlooked. Linster explains this oversight: "Classical biochemistry taught us that, given the high substrate specificity of enzymes, metabolic reactions are very precise processes which don't generate any useless or toxic by-products. But thanks to new technologies we have learned that this is not the case, and that the cell is likely to constantly produce damaged metabolites, which have to be eliminated or repaired." A deficiency in metabolite repair can lead to fatal disease in humans.

The field of 'metabolite damage-control' is still in its infancy and biochemists are just starting to understand how the cell repairs damaged metabolites. This suggests that many metabolite damage-control systems remain to be discovered. "I hope that scientists who read this review will be convinced that metabolite repair is an important aspect of cell metabolism," says Linster. "It should inspire researchers to look for yet unidentified reactions and thereby improve our understanding of the extent of metabolite damage-control and the physiological importance thereof."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Université du Luxembourg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Carole L Linster, Emile Van Schaftingen, Andrew D Hanson. Metabolite damage and its repair or pre-emption. Nature Chemical Biology, 2013; 9 (2): 72 DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.1141

Cite This Page:

Université du Luxembourg. "Metabolite damage-control: How our cells cope with toxic small molecules." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130082734.htm>.
Université du Luxembourg. (2013, January 30). Metabolite damage-control: How our cells cope with toxic small molecules. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130082734.htm
Université du Luxembourg. "Metabolite damage-control: How our cells cope with toxic small molecules." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130082734.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. 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

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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