ALBA Synchrotron used for first time as microscope to determine protein structure

April 10, 2013
ALBA Synchrotron.

A team led by David Reverter, a researcher at the Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (IBB) of the UAB, has determined for the first time the three-dimensional structure of a protein pair: LC8 and Nek9. Depending on whether or not they bind, Nek9 ensures that the chromosomes group and separate correctly during cell division.

By analysing the 3D structure, these scientists have discovered a new mechanism that interferes with the and therefore also contributes to the correct regulation of cell division and other cell processes. The discovery could have implications for the study of diseases related to cell division processes, like cancer.

The 3D structure, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, was obtained from data collected by the XALOC of the ALBA Synchrotron. It is the first time that the crystal structure of a protein has been obtained by using this synchrotron and published in a scientific journal.

Explore further: How one virus uses mimicry to replicate successfully

More information: Gallego, P. et al. Structural analysis of the regulation of the DYNLL/LC8 binding to Nek9 by phosphorylation, Journal of Biological Chemistry. March 12, 2013, doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.459149

Related Stories

How one virus uses mimicry to replicate successfully

October 31, 2007

Both viruses and cancers subvert the growth-control machinery in a cell to serve their own needs. According to a new study, at least one virus uses mimicry to gain access to that machinery.

New discoveries in cell aging

January 23, 2012

A group of researchers led by the Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (IBB) and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) have achieved to quantify with precision the effect of protein aggregation on cell aging ...

New key mechanism in cell division discovered

May 18, 2012

Researchers from the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) have identified the mechanism by which protein Zds1 regulates a key function in mitosis, the process that occurs immediately before cell division. The ...

Recommended for you

Banana peels can help identify the stages of melanoma

February 8, 2016

Human skin and banana peels have something in common: they produce the same enzyme when attacked. By studying fruit, researchers have come up with an accurate method for diagnosing the stages of this form of skin cancer.

Room-temperature lithium metal battery closer to reality

February 4, 2016

Rechargeable lithium metal batteries have been known for four decades to offer energy storage capabilities far superior to today's workhorse lithium-ion technology that powers our smartphones and laptops. But these batteries ...

Uncovering secrets of elastin's flexibility during assembly

February 5, 2016

Elastin is a crucial building block in our bodies - its flexibility allows skin to stretch and twist, blood vessels to expand and relax with every heartbeat, and lungs to swell and contract with each breath. But exactly how ...

Researchers seek efficient means of splitting water

February 5, 2016

Photovoltaics promise to help meet our energy needs by turning sunlight into electricity. We can't run everything that way, but with a little tweaking, photovoltaic materials can use solar energy to split water into hydrogen ...

0 comments

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.