A single VSOP can do a 'proton' magic!

Jun 16, 2008

International research group led by Yasushi Okamura, a professor in Japanese National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, and Peter Larsson, a professor in Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon, US, found that a single protein of VSOP, Voltage Sensor Only Protein/ Hv1, can carry protons even without making a multimeric complex.

Since VSOP is known to be expressed in phagocytes such as macrophage and neutrophil that remove infected pathogens, this finding may help to design new medications for enhancing the activities of innate immunity. They report this work in Proceeding National Academy of Sciences (published online on the week of June 16, 2008).

Usually, ion channels on cell membrane form a multimeric complex to make an assembling hole to carry ions though it. Surprisingly, the research group found that this VSOP protein forms a dimer but each single subunit can carry proton without any assembling hole. They concluded it by using the techniques of FRET (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer) and biochemistry,

The VSOP keeps cell inside alkaline condition. This finding helps to understand how VSOP regulates pH condition during the process of removing pathogens such as fungi, bacteria and virus.

"It is still not clear that how proton can go through a single VSOP protein, but here we clearly showed that a single subunit of VSOP can carry protons without making any assembling hole. This finding may help to design new medications for promoting activities of innate immunity or prevention of abnormal state of immunity such as asthma", said Professor Okamura.

Source: National Institute for Physiological Sciences

Explore further: Novel marker discovered for stem cells derived from human umbilical cord blood

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

3 hours ago

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

4 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Recommended for you

New pain relief targets discovered

4 hours ago

Scientists have identified new pain relief targets that could be used to provide relief from chemotherapy-induced pain. BBSRC-funded researchers at King's College London made the discovery when researching ...

Building 'smart' cell-based therapies

5 hours ago

A Northwestern University synthetic biology team has created a new technology for modifying human cells to create programmable therapeutics that could travel the body and selectively target cancer and other ...

Proper stem cell function requires hydrogen sulfide

8 hours ago

Stem cells in bone marrow need to produce hydrogen sulfide in order to properly multiply and form bone tissue, according to a new study from the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Turning off depression in the brain

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...

Researchers discover target for treating dengue fever

Two recent papers by a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and colleagues may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines for Dengue fever, West Nile virus, Yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and other ...

Our brains are hardwired for language

A groundbreaking study published in PLOS ONE by Prof. Iris Berent of Northeastern University and researchers at Harvard Medical School shows the brains of individual speakers are sensitive to language univer ...

Study recalculates costs of combination vaccines

One of the most popular vaccine brands for children may not be the most cost-effective choice. And doctors may be overlooking some cost factors when choosing vaccines, driving the market toward what is actually a more expensive ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...