This article talks about how stray proteins can cause genetic disorders. A tiny change in the very flexible segments of some proteins is enough to trigger rare disorders such as Glut1 deficiency syndrome. A study found that other genetic disorders might be traced back to the same origin. The seizures typically begin in the first months of life. It often takes years, however, before those suffering from the rare glucose transporter type 1 (Glut1) deficiency syndrome obtain a correct diagnosis. If the disorder goes untreated, affected children experience developmental delay and frequently have neurological problems. Various defects in one gene underlie the syndrome. They cause the Glut1 protein to lose its function in the cell membrane: the protein no longer transports glucose from the blood into the brain.
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers report that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer. The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled in Switzerland. Hepatocellular carcinoma is usually diagnosed at a very late stage when the liver is already severely damaged and hence overall prognosis is poor. Detection of the anti-cancer protein LHPP as a biomarker may allow clinicians to provide better treatment options.
he researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall, Biozentrum of the University of Basel, have now discovered a new, so far unknown tumor suppressor, the protein LHPP. In their study, they show that the loss of LHPP promotes tumor growth and reduces the chance of survival of cancer patients. LHPP could potentially be used as a prognostic biomarker. The researchers generated a mouse model for hepatocellular carcinoma by activating mTOR signaling specifically in the liver. They analyzed a total of more than 4,000 proteins, comparing them in healthy and tumor tissue.
LHPP is a phosphatase that removes histidine-linked phosphate groups from proteins. Like all amino acids, histidine is a basic component of proteins. Histidine phosphorylation of proteins has been poorly investigated due to the lack of suitable tools. Due to the absence of LHPP, global protein histidine phosphorylation is increased, which can lead to activation of several important functions and uncontrolled cell proliferation. This absence promotes the growth of tumors via increasing histidine-phosphorylated proteins. The tumor suppressor LHPP may also play a role in the development of other cancers.
Creatine is a compound naturally found in meat and fish, and is produced by the amino acids glycine and arginine. As we know, ATP is our bodies main source of fuel in terms of energy, and as we use that energy (breaking muscle fibers), hydrolysis reactions turn it into ADP. This is where creatine comes into play. It contains the phosphate that was lost in the conversion from ATP to ADP, thus acting as a fast and easy way to replenish it when the time calls. Creatine is not labeled as an anabolic steroid, so its legal to sell in stores and doesn't have the same long term harmful side effects as other stimulants. Even though we produce enough of it on our own to sustain a healthy lifestyle, creatine allows us to increase strength, lean muscle mass, and help the muscles recover quicker during exercise, all at an alarming rate. Athletes take supplements of creatine so they can perform that extra rep or two when lifting weights, ultimately leading to faster muscle growth.
Amino acids are the building blocks to protein synthesis. This is very important for good health as the 8 essential amino acids cannot be produced by your body and need to be supplied from a healthy diet. Amino acids are a protein monomer, which has crucial functions to support our body, and if a protein is denatured, can do serious damage.
This website explained some interesting facts about DNA and how it is so important in one's life. After the reading the article, i got to know that every human being shares 99% of their DNA with every other human, and 98 percent of your DNA is in common with a chimpanzee and 40-50 percent with cabbage. Also, it was interesting to know that it can take approximately 50 years to type the human genome. This shows how complex and unique the DNA structure and the sequencing of amino acids is.
At the National University of Singapore, scientists have developed a portable, nucleic acid test platform that can be used to diagnose a variety of diseases
called enVision (enzyme-assisted nanocomplexes for visual identification of nucleic acids). Within the enVision device are plastic chips housing DNA molecular machines that cling onto the wanted nucleic acid patterns. These are added to another set of molecular machines that, once activated, change the color of the sample and can be detected with the naked eye. The researchers have already tested enVision on human papillomavirus (HPV), demonstrating its ability to detect the virus with “superior sensitivity and specificity” according to National University of Singapore.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found that certain mutations in protein may increase the risk of autism. Specifically, the mutation of a protein called Shank3. The Shank3 gene provides instructions for making a protein that is found in many of the body's tissues but is most abundant in the brain. It is responsible for connections between nerve cells where cell-to-cell communication occurs. The mutation of the protein can cause a disruption in the connections between neurons, which increases the chances of autism.
Proteins have a large number of functions within organisms and are vital macromolecules. Proteins convert light energy into sugar for plants, and help release energy to make muscles work in humans. At the University of Bristol, scientists have designed a new protein structure and are using it to learn how protein structures are stabilized. This new protein can be the future of medicine and biotechnologies. The scientists at Bristol have combined a helix and a polyproline II helix (protein structures) to create a simplified protein called a miniprotein. Many natural proteins are very large whereas this new protein is small therefore making it easier to dissect. Not only will this protein help scientists understand “the basic science of protein folding and stability”, but will also help design new proteins.
Amyloid-beta (A-beta) is a protein fragment that can form sticky plaques in our brains, which can later cause dementia, or Alzheimer's disease. A recent study has found that people who sleep poorly tend to have higher amounts of A-beta plaques in their brains. Not getting enough sleep, or getting poor quality sleep has shown to increase inflammation in the brain, as well as the presence of the protein tau, which is higher in those with Alzheimer's. Scientists are now theorizing that during sleep, a "clean out" of the brain occurs where proteins like A-beta are removed and other similar substances. Although still a theory, there seems to be a correlation between receiving poor sleep and the buildup of these proteins, as poor sleepers appear to have a 68 percent higher chance of developing cognitive disorders than those who received enough rest.
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