Scientists isolate protein that may be 'boon' to medicine

August 5, 2009

Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have isolated a unique protein that appears to have a dual function and could lead to a "boon in medicine." The findings are published in the August issue of the Journal of Cell Biology.

The that the researchers studied, named mDpy-30, affects both the expression of genes and the transport of proteins. "We first found that this protein has a dual location in the cell," said Dzwokai Ma, senior author and assistant professor in UCSB's Department of Molecular, Cellular and . "That spurred us to investigate this protein further, because location is always linked to function."

Proteins that are most sensitive to mDpy-30 are pivotal to the movement of a cell, according to the current study and unpublished results from the Ma lab. "Indeed, we have obtained preliminary evidence that mDpy-30 is an important regulator of cell movement," said Ma. "The movement of a cell is essential to myriad biological functions such as neural networking, proper immunological function, and wound healing. Consequently, when these processes go awry, they can result in the development or progression of human disease, including cancer metastasis."

What remains enigmatic, Ma added, is the particular role of mDpy-30 in protein transport regulation, and whether or how this function is coordinated with during cell movement. "Further study could lead to a boon in medicine," he said.

Source: University of California - Santa Barbara (news : web)

Explore further: Yale scientists map cell signaling network

Related Stories

Yale scientists map cell signaling network

November 30, 2005

Yale University scientists have mapped, for the first time, the proteins and kinase signaling network that control how cells of higher organisms operate.

How actin networks are actin'

January 2, 2008

Dynamic networks of growing actin filaments are critical for many cellular processes, including cell migration, intracellular transport, and the recovery of proteins from the cell surface. In this week’s issue of the open-access ...

Discovery of a mechanism that regulates cell movement

July 20, 2008

A study performed by researchers at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), in collaboration with researchers at the Instituto de Biología Molecular of the CSIC, reveal a mechanism that controls the movement ...

Scientists make headway in understanding Alzheimer's disease

February 5, 2009

Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have discovered that a protein called BAG2 is important for understanding Alzheimer's disease and may open up new targets for drug discovery. They are ready to move from studying these proteins ...

Recommended for you

A better way to read the genome

October 9, 2015

UConn researchers have sequenced the RNA of the most complicated gene known in nature, using a hand-held sequencer no bigger than a cell phone.

Threat posed by 'pollen thief' bees uncovered

October 9, 2015

A new University of Stirling study has uncovered the secrets of 'pollen thief' bees - which take pollen from flowers but fail to act as effective pollinators - and the threat they pose to certain plant species.

Mapping the protein universe

October 9, 2015

To understand how life works, figure out the proteins first. DNA is the architect of life, but proteins are the workhorses. After proteins are built using DNA blueprints, they are constantly at work breaking down and building ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.