Apr 26, 2011

How Molecules Get to the Right Place at the Right Time

In a multicellular organism, different cells fulfill a range of diversified functions. Often such specialization depends on the delivery of molecular goods to distinct places within a cell. It ensures that particular functions only occur at defined cellular sites. This establishment of intracellular asymmetry in the otherwise fluid environment of the cell cytoplasm requires active transport processes. Messenger RNAs (mRNA) represent an especially important type of freight.
All cells containing a nucleus also possess a cytoskeleton made up of filamentous protein strands that course through intracellular space like a rail network. Motor proteins "walk" along two types of these strands, called actin filaments and microtubules. On their way, they can carry different types of freight like membrane vesicles, messenger RNAs, proteins and even whole organelles. Disruption of these networks can cause chaos and may result in cell death. The motor proteins must recognize and bind to the correct fiber system and to the appropriate cargo. For transport of freight, molecular motors interact with a plethora of accessory factors to form large transport complexes.

Journal Reference:

  1. Marisa Müller, Roland Gerhard Heym, Andreas Mayer, Katharina Kramer, Maria Schmid, Patrick Cramer, Henning Urlaub, Ralf-Peter Jansen, Dierk Niessing. A Cytoplasmic Complex Mediates Specific mRNA Recognition and Localization in Yeast. PLoS Biology, 2011; 9 (4): e1000611 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000611

Discovery Identifies Elaborate G-Protein Network in Plants

The most elaborate heterotrimeric G-protein network known to date in the plant kingdom has been identified by Dr. Sona Pandey, principal investigator at the Danforth Plant Science Center. The results of this research are published in the recent article, "An elaborate heterotirmeric G-protein family from soybean expands the diversity of G-protein networks," in the New Phytologist.

Journal Reference:

  1. Naveen C. Bisht, Joseph M. Jez, Sona Pandey. An elaborate heterotrimeric G-protein family from soybean expands the diversity of plant G-protein networks. New Phytologist, 2011; 190 (1): 35 DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03581.x

Apr 17, 2011

Nicotine Does Not Promote Lung Cancer Growth in Mouse Models, Study Finds

Nicotine at doses similar to those found in most nicotine replacements therapies did not increase lung cancer tumor incidence, frequency or size, according to results of a mouse study presented at the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011, held in Orlando, Florida April 2-6.
Read on . . . .

Enzyme crucial to DNA replication may provide potent anti-cancer drug target

An enzyme essential for DNA replication and repair in humans works in a way that might be exploited as anti-cancer therapy, say researchers.
Read on . . .