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 July 28, 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 July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 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