Tug of biomolecules

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Tug of biomolecules

Researchers observed knockouts in cells

The many thousands of different proteins in a cell can only function if they are in the right place. Has been known for some time that any protein carrying a coding in the manner of a zip code, which is necessary for its correct sorting within the cell. Therefore, there must be that interject the protein through the "letterbox" the correct organelle and molecular postman. But what this postman is the strongest? This has now been clarified Kassel researchers.

Tug of biomolecules

Model of a folded protein

© DOE

Christian Schmauch and Professor Markus Maniak from the Department of Cell Biology joined in their study each two proteins, the different sorting signals (ZIP) contributed, together and watched the molecular tug the postman in the cells under the microscope. In the experiment, winners and losers had each long as compete against other teams postman, to the order of precedence was certain.

In the end was clear that the nucleus on the most postman has. In second place, with a small distance, are the endosomes, followed by the peroxisomes. Bringing up the rear are the actin fibers of the cytoskeleton However, these is not any hope lost. One of their players, the protein Coronin, had to concede defeat only to postmen from the nucleus in the individual competition, while the others for a total disappointing overall performance were responsible.

Soothing results

For Maniak and Schmauch these results, they report in the European Journal of Cell Biology, reassuring. Because they meet the expectations that harbored them and other scientists who individually the postman outside the cell - had observed - quasi in the weight room at the bench. Another interesting, for science was but new conclusion that Schmauch and Maniak with its approach could also measure the performance of a previously unseen side of the endosomes, which were elicited by the proposed dew out of hiding.

This now results in the future the possibility of sorting signals quantitatively analyze, even if the actual sorting mechanism is still unknown, according to the scientists in the European Journal of Cell Biology.

(Idw - University of Kassel, 25.01.2008 - DLO)

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