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: Treatment for overactive bladder and irritable bowel syndrome advanced through pioneering research

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Orb-weaving spiders living in urban areas may be larger

42 minutes ago

A common orb-weaving spider may grow larger and have an increased ability to reproduce when living in urban areas, according to a study published August 20, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Eli ...

Recommended for you

Biologists reprogram skin cells to mimic rare disease

12 hours ago

Johns Hopkins stem cell biologists have found a way to reprogram a patient's skin cells into cells that mimic and display many biological features of a rare genetic disorder called familial dysautonomia. ...

Student seeks to improve pneumonia vaccines

Aug 20, 2014

Almost a million Americans fall ill with pneumonia each year. Nearly half of these cases require hospitalization, and 5-7 percent are fatal. Current vaccines provide protection against some strains of the ...

User comments : 0