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Team finds way to measure key cell regulator's activity

Date:
September 6, 2017
Source:
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Summary:
An innovative approach that will enable scientists to study the most common regulator of our bodies' cells, a molecule called guanosine-5'-triphosphate.
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UT Health San Antonio researchers and co-authors in New York state on Monday (Sept. 4) reported an innovative approach that will enable scientists to study the most common regulator of our bodies' cells, a molecule called guanosine-5'-triphosphate (GTP).

The discovery may prove useful in the screening of candidate anti-cancer compounds, said Rui Sousa, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and structural biology in the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio.

GTP activates G-proteins, which regulate cell movement, growth, architecture and differentiation, including transformation into cancer cells.

By inserting GFP into a bacterial G-protein called FeoB, the scientists constructed sensors of GTP activity. A next step is to use these sensors in a process called high-throughput screening to find compounds that reduce GTP levels in target cells, Dr. Sousa said. Scientists hypothesize that this could be a way to treat disease.

UT Health San Antonio conducts high-throughput screening of compounds in the Center for Innovative Drug Discovery operated jointly by UT Health and The University of Texas at San Antonio.

On a basic science level, the scientists wanted to reveal how GTP levels vary and affect cellular function, Dr. Sousa said.

"You could say we have built a flashlight that now allows us to explore a big room that was previously dark," he said. "This room is called 'GTP biology.' What will we find when we start exploring with this flashlight? We may find quite a lot, because GTP biology could be involved in so many processes and so many disease states."


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Anna Bianchi-Smiraglia, Mitra S Rana, Colleen E Foley, Leslie M Paul, Brittany C Lipchick, Sudha Moparthy, Kalyana Moparthy, Emily E Fink, Archis Bagati, Edward Hurley, Hayley C Affronti, Andrei V Bakin, Eugene S Kandel, Dominic J Smiraglia, Maria Laura Feltri, Rui Sousa, Mikhail A Nikiforov. Internally ratiometric fluorescent sensors for evaluation of intracellular GTP levels and distribution. Nature Methods, 2017; DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.4404

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Team finds way to measure key cell regulator's activity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170906103736.htm>.
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. (2017, September 6). Team finds way to measure key cell regulator's activity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 19, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170906103736.htm
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Team finds way to measure key cell regulator's activity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170906103736.htm (accessed June 19, 2024).

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