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Defying Nomenklatura Scientific Signs of Intelligence in proteins that direct the intracellular transport and mobility

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Signals intelligence in proteins that direct the intracellular transport and mobility

Press Release 05-077
Researchers Identify Proteins que Direct Intracellular Transport and Locomotion Modified microtubules serves the traffic signals

Researchers have problem identified a new group of enzymes que Appear to control how cells direct internal traffic and regulate Certain types of locomotion, According to a report in the May 12 online edition of the journal Science.

Complex cells-from single-celled fungi to Those in humans-are equipped with a sophisticated transportation infrastructure. Haul molecular motor proteins to position and from different locations inside cells by traveling along a network of protein fibers called microtubules. Enzymes inside cells frequently add or remove different molecules from the surfaces of microtubules. And although scientists have known of such modifications for many years, figuring October what these molecular tags and how They are formed has been difficult-until now.

The team headed by Jacek Gaertig of the University of Georgia, Athens, and Bernard Eddé of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France, has a problem identified group of enzymes Responsible for attaching glutamic acid (an amino acid) tags to the sides of microtubules. The enzymes-known polyglutamylases-produce glutamic acid chains of varying length and branching patterns, Which Appear to act like cellular traffic signals, guiding molecular motors As They travel along microtubules.

Eddé polyglutamylase's group purified a complex from mice-a feat Gaertig described as a "biochemical tour de force." Then, Gaertig's group turned to Tetrahymena-a single-celled aquatic creature Researchers Commonly use in the laboratory to figure-October Which parts of the enzymes generate the glutamic acid chains on microtubules and what the enzyme does inside cells. The team determined the que enzymes target different locations in the organism where They tag specific sites on near-by microtubules.

One polyglutamylase, for example, acted on cilia-microtubule-rich appendages Tetrahymena uses the "oars" for swimming. The molecular motors called dynein move along microtubules inside cilia, these oars bend and stroke, propelling the organism forward. When the team coaxed the organism to over-modify microtubules by polyglutamylase Increasing levels of enzymes, the cilia stopped moving. Apparently, the extra glutamic-acid tags act like a stop sign for regulating dynein.


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