Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Discovering cell surface proteins' behavior

Date:
February 12, 2013
Source:
Simon Fraser University
Summary:
Chemists are advancing scientific understanding of the structure and function of glycoproteins, in particular the number and positioning of sugars on them. Glycoproteins are membrane proteins and are often involved in human diseases. They facilitate communication between cells.

A Simon Fraser University chemist is the lead author on a new paper that advances scientific understanding of the structure and function of glycoproteins, in particular the number and positioning of sugars on them.

Related Articles


PLOS ONE has just published the paper, N-glycoproteome of E14.Tg2a Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells.

Glycoproteins are membrane proteins and are often involved in human diseases. They facilitate communication between cells, and interactions with pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria, and communication with external environments.

SFU chemist Bingyun Sun and her colleagues have discovered how nature can vary the amount of a dominant sugar type (N-Glycan) on membrane proteins on a cell surface. The variation helps stabilize these proteins and facilitate their functioning.

The researchers verified their observation of a correlation between the number of sugars on a glycoprotein and its function in five animal species -- worms, flies, fish, mice and humans. This led to their realization that the correlation has been conserved through evolution.

To obtain the number of N-Glycans on proteins, the researchers used proteomics -- a combination of mass spectrometry (MS) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In less than an hour, high-throughput technique identifies the exact place where N-Glycans attach on hundreds of glycoproteins.

The scientists analyzed cell surface glycoproteins in one type of mouse embryonic stem cells by genetically shutting down the Hypoxanthine Phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) gene in the cells.

As an aside, HPRT deficiency causes Lesch-Nyhan syndrome in humans, a metabolic disorder characterized by mental retardation and self-mutilation.

Sun says this deeper understanding of the correlation between sugars' positioning on glycoproteins and the proteins' functions will benefit medical researchers and the pharmaceutical industry.

"As membrane proteins, glycoproteins are biologically important," explains Sun, who is fluent in Mandarin and English, and is originally from Mailand China.

"They mediate cells' communication to their environment, thus governing a plethora of cellular processes and functions, including growth, development, immunity and aging.

"Understanding how membrane proteins adapt to better protect themselves will help us design better, less toxic drugs to treat diseases."

Backgrounder: Understanding surface cell proteins

Mass spectrometry(MS) is an analytical technique that measures the mass-to-charge ratio of charged particles.[1] It is used for determining masses of particles, for establishing the elemental composition of a sample or molecule, and for elucidating the chemical structures of molecules, such as peptides and other chemical compounds.

High-performance liquid chromatography(sometimes referred to as high-pressure liquid chromatography), HPLC, is a chromatographic technique used to separate a mixture of compounds in analytical chemistry and biochemistry with the purpose of identifying, quantifying or purifying the individual components of the mixture. HPLC is considered to be the most frequently used instrumental technique in analytical chemistry.

HPLC has many uses including medical (e.g. detecting vitamin D levels in blood serum), legal (e.g. detecting performance enhancement drugs in urine), research (e.g. separating the components of a complex biological sample, or of similar synthetic chemicals from each other), and manufacturing (e.g. during the production process of pharmaceutical and biological products).


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Bingyun Sun, Li Ma, Xiaowei Yan, Denis Lee, Vinita Alexander, Laura J. Hohmann, Cynthia Lorang, Lalangi Chandrasena, Qiang Tian, Leroy Hood. N-Glycoproteome of E14.Tg2a Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (2): e55722 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055722

Cite This Page:

Simon Fraser University. "Discovering cell surface proteins' behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212132003.htm>.
Simon Fraser University. (2013, February 12). Discovering cell surface proteins' behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212132003.htm
Simon Fraser University. "Discovering cell surface proteins' behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212132003.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
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
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. 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:

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