Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists shed light on body's master energy regulator

Date:
October 2, 2013
Source:
Scripps Research Institute
Summary:
Scientists have discovered some key features that explain just what turns on a protein that is considered to be a master regulator of how the human body uses and stores energy.

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered some key features that explain just what turns on a protein that is considered to be a master regulator of how the human body uses and stores energy.

The new discoveries could help in the design and development of new therapeutics to treat metabolic disease such as diabetes and obesity—and perhaps some cancers as well.

The new study, led by Patrick R. Griffin, chair of the TSRI Department of Molecular Therapeutics, was published recently online ahead of print by the journal Structure.

All cells need energy to function, and a molecule known as ATP stores what the cells use for fuel. The balance between stored energy and energy consumption is in constant flux, so the ability to sense changes in those energy supplies is essential for survival. When energy reserves run low, a molecule known as AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK), which monitors cellular energy levels, stimulates the generation of ATP and increases those energy stores.

As a result, AMPK has become an attractive target for the treatment of metabolic diseases like diabetes and obesity. But the development of molecular activators of kinase has lagged behind inhibitors because while inhibition is straight forward, less is understood about the mechanism of hyper-activation of kinases.

“Other research has revealed compounds that activate AMPK,” said Griffin. “However, until our study no one has been able to confirm exactly where those compounds bind, nor how binding of these molecules leads to an increase in the activity of the kinase.”

In the new research, Griffin and his colleagues not only identified the subunit where binding took place, but were able to show that binding by a known AMPK activator fully activates the protein—specifically through biochemical communication with the other subunits, a process that allows AMPK to respond quickly to changes in the cellular energy levels.

“Confirming the activation site and how it communicates with the rest of the protein means that others can start to model AMPK activators to see how effective they might be as potential drugs,” Griffin said


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. RachelleR. Landgraf, Devrishi Goswami, Francis Rajamohan, MelissaS. Harris, Matthew F. Calabrese, LiseR. Hoth, Rachelle Magyar, BruceD. Pascal, MichaelJ. Chalmers, ScottA. Busby, Ravi G. Kurumbail, PatrickR. Griffin. Activation of AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Revealed by Hydrogen/Deuterium Exchange Mass Spectrometry. Structure, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.str.2013.08.023

Cite This Page:

Scripps Research Institute. "Scientists shed light on body's master energy regulator." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131002185518.htm>.
Scripps Research Institute. (2013, October 2). Scientists shed light on body's master energy regulator. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131002185518.htm
Scripps Research Institute. "Scientists shed light on body's master energy regulator." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131002185518.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
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