Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists discover how a protein finds its way

Date:
April 29, 2013
Source:
Scripps Research Institute
Summary:
Scientists have uncovered how an enzyme co-factor can bestow specificity on a class of proteins with otherwise nonspecific biochemical activity. Proteins can have more than one function, but they often need to be very specific in their action or they create cellular havoc, possibly leading to disease.

Proteins, the workhorses of the body, can have more than one function, but they often need to be very specific in their action or they create cellular havoc, possibly leading to disease.

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have uncovered how an enzyme co-factor can bestow specificity on a class of proteins with otherwise nonspecific biochemical activity.

The protein in question helps in the assembly of ribosomes, large macromolecular machines that are critical to protein production and cell growth. This new discovery expands scientists' view of the role of co-factors and suggests such co-factors could be used to modify the activity of related proteins and their role in disease.

"In ribosome production, you need to do things very specifically," said TSRI Associate Professor Katrin Karbstein, who led the study. "Adding a co-factor like Rrp5 forces these enzymes to be specific in their actions. The obvious possibility is that if you could manipulate the co-factor, you could alter protein activity, which could prove to be tremendously important."

The new study, which is being published the week of April 29, 2013, in the online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, sheds light on proteins called DEAD-box proteins, a provocative title actually derived from their amino acid sequence. These proteins regulate all aspects of gene expression and RNA metabolism, particularly in the production of ribosomes, and are involved in cell metabolism. The link between defects in ribosome assembly and cancer and between DEAD-box proteins and cancer is well documented.

The findings show that the DEAD-box protein Rok1, needed in the production of a small ribosomal subunit, recognizes the RNA backbone, the basic structural framework of nucleic acids. The co-factor Rrp5 then gives Rok1 the ability to target a specific RNA sequence by modulating the structure of Rok1.

"Despite extensive efforts, the roles of these DEAD-box proteins in the assembly of the two ribosomal subunits remain largely unknown," Karbstein said. "Our study suggests that the solution may be to identify their cofactors first."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Scripps Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Crystal L. Young, Sohail Khoshnevis, and Katrin Karbstein. Cofactor-dependent specificity of a DEAD-box protein. PNAS, 2013 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1302577110

Cite This Page:

Scripps Research Institute. "Scientists discover how a protein finds its way." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130429175906.htm>.
Scripps Research Institute. (2013, April 29). Scientists discover how a protein finds its way. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130429175906.htm
Scripps Research Institute. "Scientists discover how a protein finds its way." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130429175906.htm (accessed July 27, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The New York Times has officially endorsed the legalization of marijuana, but why now, and to what end? 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