Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cells: Communicating with the world across the membrane

Date:
May 15, 2014
Source:
Carnegie Institution
Summary:
All living cells are held together by membranes, which provide a barrier to the transport of nutrients. Little was known about the relationships among membrane proteins and interior proteins. A team of scientists has revealed how membrane proteins were networked with each other and with the signaling proteins inside the cell.

All living cells are held together by membranes, which provide a barrier to the transport of nutrients. They are also the communication platform connecting the outside world to the cell's interior control centers. Thousands of proteins reside in these cell membranes and control the flow of select chemicals, which move across the barrier and mediate the flux of nutrients and information. Almost all of these pathways work by protein handshakes--one protein "talking" to another in order to, for example, encourage the import of a needed nutrient, to block a compound from accumulating to a toxic level, or to alert the cell's interior to changes in the outside environment.

Little was known about the relationships among membrane proteins and interior proteins. A team led by Carnegie's Wolf Frommer has revealed how membrane proteins were networked with each other and with the signaling proteins inside the cell. Their work is published in Science.

The messages conveyed to membrane proteins by signaling proteins, and vice versa, form the basis of communication between cells within an organism, as well as between the organism and the outside world. To gain insight into this protein-protein messaging across and within membranes, the Frommer team carried out a massive screen for protein-protein interactions between predicted membrane proteins and predicted signaling proteins. They focused on a mustard green called Arabidopsis, the reference organism used by plant biologists in their research.

Many millions of tests were performed and over 10,000 interactions were discovered. The work is the first of its kind in any organism and will have implications for both plant and animal sciences.

Technical difficulties in studying membranes mean that only a few cross-membrane protein-to-protein signals are known. Both plant and human genomes contain thousands of membrane proteins whose functions remain mysterious. Similar techniques to identify membrane protein interactions have been used before to identify select membrane transporters. But Frommer's team developed a deeper process that was able to yield a greater diversity of results. The vast majority of the thousands of potential membrane protein-signaling protein interactions they found had never before been identified. The team's aim was to use their new protein interaction network to identify interactions important for protein-protein messaging and help assign possible functions to these "unknown" membrane proteins.

"Our findings can serve as an important resource for gene discovery and will be applicable to the animal kingdom, as well as to plants," Frommer said. "In plants, it could help lead to discoveries that will improve crop yields."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. A. M. Jones, Y. Xuan, M. Xu, R.-S. Wang, C.-H. Ho, S. Lalonde, C. H. You, M. I. Sardi, S. A. Parsa, E. Smith-Valle, T. Su, K. A. Frazer, G. Pilot, R. Pratelli, G. Grossmann, B. R. Acharya, H.-C. Hu, C. Engineer, F. Villiers, C. Ju, K. Takeda, Z. Su, Q. Dong, S. M. Assmann, J. Chen, J. M. Kwak, J. I. Schroeder, R. Albert, S. Y. Rhee, W. B. Frommer. Border Control--A Membrane-Linked Interactome of Arabidopsis. Science, 2014; 344 (6185): 711 DOI: 10.1126/science.1251358

Cite This Page:

Carnegie Institution. "Cells: Communicating with the world across the membrane." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140515142810.htm>.
Carnegie Institution. (2014, May 15). Cells: Communicating with the world across the membrane. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140515142810.htm
Carnegie Institution. "Cells: Communicating with the world across the membrane." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140515142810.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The incentive is in keeping with a Russian superstition that it's good luck for a cat to be the first to cross the threshold of a new home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 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