Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
RANDOX LABORATORIES

A Molecular Hinge Allows Transport Proteins to Move Neurotransmitters Across Brain Cell Membranes

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 13 May 2013
Print article
Image: Senior author Dr. Shimon Schuldiner (Photo courtesy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem).
Image: Senior author Dr. Shimon Schuldiner (Photo courtesy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem).
An international team of molecular biologists has developed a model that shows how components of a protein transport complex act as a molecular hinge to move neurotransmitters across brain cell membranes.

Investigators at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) and the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics (Frankfurt am Main, Germany) focused on vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2), a member of the largest superfamily of transporters, which is known to convey a variety of neurotransmitters such as adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin as well as MPP, a neurotoxin linked to Parkinson’s disease.

In the April 9, 2013, issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) they described the importance of two anchor points positioned between two six-transmembrane-helix bundles. These two domains provide hinge points about which the two halves of the protein flex and straighten to open and close the translocation pathway, a process that enables alternating exposure of the substrate-binding site. Polar residues that create a hydrogen bond cluster form one of the anchor points of VMAT2, while the other results from hydrophobic interactions.

The investigators, led by Dr. Shimon Schuldiner, professor of biochemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said that, "They hope that this knowledge may, in the future, help in designing drugs for treating pathologies involving transporters similar to VMAT, including infectious and neurological diseases."

Related Links:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Max Planck Institute of Biophysics



Print article

Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: A scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (Photo courtesy of the CDC).

Drug Combination Cures MRSA Infection While Preventing Development of Resistance

Treatment with a combination comprising the well-known antibiotic cefdinir and the experimental drug TXA709 cured mice of drug-resistant staphylococcal infections while reducing the development of resistance.... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel
Image: A space-filling model of the anticonvulsant drug carbamazepine (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Wastewater May Contaminate Crops with Potentially Dangerous Pharmaceuticals

Reclaimed wastewater used to irrigate crops is contaminated with pharmaceutical residues that can be detected in the urine of those who consumed such produce. Investigators at the Hebrew University... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: A three-dimensional printer adapted for stem cell production (Photo courtesy of Nano Dimension).

Israeli Developers Demonstrate Prototype Three-Dimensional Bioprinter

Two Israeli companies have combined efforts in the development of three-dimensional printer technology for the production of stem cells. The three-dimensional print electronics developer Nano Dimension... Read more

Business

view channel

Acquisition to Boost Development of Drugs for Neurogenic Conditions

According to a recent announcement, a privately held biotechnology/drug development company is to be acquired by one of the major pharmaceutical manufacturers. The drug manufacturer Merck & Co. (Kenilworth, NJ, USA) has agreed to pay 500 million USD up front for Afferent Pharmaceuticals (San Mateo, CA, USA) and up... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2016 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.