Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
PZ HTL SA
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC

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

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 13 May 2013
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



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Disruption and removal of malaria parasites by the experimental drug (+)-SJ733 (Photo courtesy of the University of California, San Francisco).

Experimental Antimalaria Drug Induces the Immune System to Destroy Infected Red Blood Cells

An experimental drug for the treatment of malaria was found to induce morphological changes in infected erythrocytes that enabled the immune system to recognize and eliminate them. Investigators at... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Blocking Enzyme Switch Turns Off Tumor Growth in T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Researchers recently reported that blocking the action of an enzyme “switch” needed to activate tumor growth is emerging as a practical strategy for treating T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. An estimated 25% of the 500 US adolescents and young adults diagnosed yearly with this aggressive disease fail to respond to... Read more

Business

view channel

R&D Partnership Initiated to Reduce Development Time for New Drugs

nanoPET Pharma, GmbH (Berlin, Germany) signed an open-ended framework contract with the international pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim (Ridgefield, CT, USA). By developing customized contrast agents for research in both basic and preclinical studies, nanoPET Pharma will contribute to the enhancement of Boehringer... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.