Plant Min Protein Sits Tight And Rescues E. coli

May 21, 2009

A protein vital for correct chloroplast division in plants is able to take on a similar role in bacterial cells, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Microbiology. The Arabidopsis thaliana Min protein (AtMinD) localizes in E. coli cells’ polar regions keeping cell division at its correct central location, yet unlike its E. coli homologue, AtMinD does not oscillate.

Making certain that E. coli cells divide in the centre is down to Min proteins (MinC, D and E). MinE oscillates from the middle of the cell to one pole or another, driving the MinCD complex with it. The MinCD complex prevents FtsZ polymerization at the poles but not at the mid-line of the cell, where FtsZ ring formation leads to cell division.
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Structure Of Key Ebola Protein Discovered By Iowa State University Researchers

January 20, 2009

Research led by Iowa State University scientists has them a step closer to finding a way to counter the Ebola virus.

A team led by Gaya Amarasinghe, an assistant professor in biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, has recently solved the structure from a key part of the Ebola protein known as VP35.

VP35 interferes with the natural resistance of host cells against viral infections.

“Usually when viruses infect cells, the host immune system can fight to eventually clear the virus. But with Ebola infections, the ability of the host to mount a defense against the invading virus is lost,” said Amarasinghe.
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Brain Deletion Of FK506-Binding Protein Enhances Repetitive Behaviors In Mice

January 15, 2009

A new study reveals a link between dysregulation of a common signaling pathway and repetitive behaviors similar to those associated with multiple neurological and neurodegenerative disorders including, autism spectrum disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and Huntington’s disease. The research, published by Cell Press in the December 11th issue of the journal Neuron, identifies a critical role for a molecule linked to immunosuppression in learning, memory, and repetitive behavior and may lead to the development of new treatments for perseverative behaviors.
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Secreted Protein Sends Signal That Fat Is On The Way

January 12, 2009

After you eat a burger and fries or other fat-filled meal, a protein produced by the liver may send a signal that fat is on the way, suggests a report in the December issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication.

Researchers have found in mice that the liver produces a protein called adropin, which rises in response to high-fat foods and falls after fasting. The protein seems to play a role in governing the activity of other metabolic genes, particularly those involved in the production of lipids from carbohydrates. Studies of the protein in obese animals suggest that it also plays a role in insulin response and in preventing the buildup of fat in the liver (a condition known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease), the researchers said.
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Drug Improves Kidney Function In Diabetics Pentoxifylline Prevents Protein Leakage Into Urine

January 1, 2009

Pentoxifylline, a drug used to treat patients with circulation problems, may also benefit those with kidney disease caused by diabetes and other conditions. Specifically, pentoxifylline decreases proteinuria, the abnormal leakage of protein into the urine, according to two articles in the September issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation.

“When kidneys are healthy, very little or no protein appears in the urine,” says Dr. Kerry Willis, Senior Vice President for Scientific Activities at the National Kidney Foundation. “Protein in the urine is an early sign that the kidney’s filters have been damaged by disease, allowing protein to leak into the urine.”
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Study Shows That Small Protein Can Broaden Immune Response In Humans

December 30, 2008

Treating cancer patients with interleukin-7 (IL-7), a small protein that can stimulate the immune system, leads to an increase in lymphocytes which are key to the production of effective immune responses in the body, according to a new study by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The demonstration that IL-7 is able to broaden the possible immune responses in humans could have a wide range of clinical implications. This study was published online June 23, 2008, in Read the rest of this entry »


Drug Improves Kidney Function In Diabetics Pentoxifylline Prevents Protein Leakage Into Urine

August 30, 2008

Pentoxifylline, a drug used to treat patients with circulation problems, may also benefit those with kidney disease caused by diabetes and other conditions. Specifically, pentoxifylline decreases proteinuria, the abnormal leakage of protein into the urine, according to two articles in the September issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation.

“When kidneys are healthy, very little or no protein appears in the urine,” says Dr. Kerry Willis, Senior Vice President for Scientific Activities at the National Kidney Foundation. “Protein in the urine is an early sign that the kidney’s filters have been damaged by disease, allowing protein to leak into the urine.”
Read the rest of this entry »