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Molecular corkscrew
Scientists from the universities of Zurich and Duisburg-Essen have discovered a specific function of the protein p97/VCP. They demonstrate that the protein repairs DNA breaks like a corkscrew, a repair mechanism that could also prove significant for cancer therapy. (2011-11-08)

Opening the data bank -- scientists try to match new protein structures
Scientists at Rochester Institute of Technology and Dowling College are matching proteins to the job they perform in the human body. Their research could lead to drugs that target proteins and switch on or off specific functions associated with various diseases. The three-year study is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences. (2011-11-07)

New study uncovers how brain cells degrade dangerous protein aggregates
Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute have discovered a key mechanism responsible for selectively degrading aggregates of ubiquitinated proteins from the cell. Their findings indicate that the capture and removal of such aggregates is mediated by the phosphorylation of a protein called p62, opening the door to new avenues for treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's disease and Alzheimer's disease. (2011-11-07)

So many proteins, so much promise
A team led by a Northwestern University scientist has developed a new (2011-10-30)

Controlling gene expression to halt cancer growth
Olaf Wiest, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame, is one of a group of collaborators studying the effects of a specific molecule on the trigger that controls the growth of the NUT midline carcinoma. (2011-10-28)

Researchers at Brandeis determine structure of key protein associated with Parkinson's disease
The Petsko-Ringe, Pochapsky and Agar laboratories have produced and determined the structure of alpha-synuclein, a key protein associated with Parkinson's disease. Information may someday be used to produce a new kind of treatment. (2011-10-23)

New study shows soy protein improves lipid profile in healthy individuals
A new study published online in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that soy protein compared to dairy milk protein supplementation improves the lipid profile in healthy individuals. (2011-10-20)

Improving training efficiency in horses
To counter the loss of muscle mass after hard training people may elect to take various dietary supplements -- legal or otherwise. But what can legally be done to help train sport horses? Recent work at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna has shown that a special mixture of amino acids and proteins is able to prevent muscle breakdown in horses following exercise. The findings are published in the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition. (2011-10-19)

SomaLogic announces agreement with leading global pharma company to accelerate R&D
SomaLogic, Inc., announced today that it has entered into a multi-year research agreement with Novartis to use its unique proprietary proteomics technology to accelerate Novartis' drug discovery and development efforts. (2011-10-18)

New membrane lipid measuring technique may help fight disease
University of Illinois at Chicago chemists led by Wonhwa Cho reports that they've developed a technique which successfully quantifies signaling lipids on live cell membranes in real time, opening up possible new routes for treating diseases. The finding is reported in Nature Chemistry. (2011-10-09)

New book on protein homeostasis from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
A new book, (2011-10-07)

Novel technique reveals both gene number and protein expression simultaneously
Researchers have discovered a method to simultaneously measure gene number and protein expression in individual cells. The fluorescence microscopy technique could permit a detailed analysis of the relationship between gene status and expression of the corresponding protein in cells and tissues, and bring a clearer understanding of cancer and other complex diseases. (2011-09-22)

Possible new blood test to diagnose heart attacks
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine researchers are reporting a possible new blood test to help diagnose heart attacks. In the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, researchers report that a large protein known as cardiac myosin binding protein-C (cMyBP-C) is released to the blood following a heart attack. (2011-09-20)

The body rids itself of damage when it really matters
Although the body is constantly replacing cells and cell constituents, damage and imperfections accumulate over time. Cleanup efforts are saved for when it really matters. Researchers from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, are able to show how the body rids itself of damage when it is time to reproduce and create new life. (2011-09-19)

Crystal structure shows how motor protein works
The crystal structure of the dynamin protein -- one of the molecular machines that makes cells work -- has been revealed, bringing insights into a class of molecules with a wide influence on health and disease. (2011-09-18)

ORNL invention unravels mystery of protein folding
An ORNL invention able to quickly predict three-dimensional structure of protein could have huge implications for drug discovery and human health. (2011-09-14)

Engineers probe mechanics behind rapid-aging disease
Pulling the tail of mutated protein could help illuminate problems with misfolding. (2011-09-14)

X-ray protein probe leads to potential anticancer tactic
Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have identified a new type of potential anticancer drug. The compound, named FOBISIN, targets 14-3-3 proteins, important for the runaway growth of cancer cells. The researchers were using X-rays to see how FOBISIN fits into the clamp-shaped 14-3-3 protein structure. Unexpectedly, the X-rays induced the compound to be permanently bonded to the protein. (2011-09-12)

Lung cancer signatures in blood samples may aid in early detection
Now, a new study published by Cell Press in the Sept. 13 issue of the journal Cancer Cell identifies protein signatures in mouse blood samples that reflect lung cancer biology in humans. The research may lead to better monitoring of tumor progression as well as blood based early detection strategies for human lung cancer that could have a substantial impact on disease prognosis. (2011-09-12)

New 'bouncer' molecule halts rheumatoid arthritis
Northwestern researchers have discovered why immune cells of people with rheumatoid arthritis become hyperactive and attack the joints and bones. The cells have lost their bouncer, the burly protein that keeps them in line the way a bouncer in a nightclub controls rowdy patrons. The protein, called P21, prevents immune cells from their destructive rampage. When the scientists injected a mimic of P21 into an animal model of arthritis, the disease process was halted. (2011-09-07)

Alzheimer's brains found to have lower levels of key protein
Researchers have found that a protein variation linked by some genetic studies to Alzheimer's disease is consistently present in the actual brains of people with Alzheimer's. In further biochemical and cell culture investigations, they have shown that this protein, known as ubiquilin-1, performs a critical Alzheimer's-related function: it (2011-09-01)

Research offers new way to target shape-shifting proteins
A molecule which can stop the formation of long protein strands, known as amyloid fibrils, that cause joint pain in kidney dialysis patients has been identified by researchers at the University of Leeds. The discovery could lead to new methods to identify drugs to prevent, treat or halt the progression of other conditions in which amyloid fibrils play a part, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Type II diabetes. (2011-08-28)

Road block as a new strategy for the treatment of Alzheimer's
Two main agents involved in the inception of Alzheimer's disease (APP and beta secretase) follow a different path through the brain cells to meet up, write Wim Annaert and colleagues of VIB and K.U. Leuven in PNAS. (2011-08-22)

Chemists discover most naturally variable protein in dental plaque bacterium
Two UC San Diego chemists have discovered the most naturally variable protein known to date in a bacterium that is a key player in the formation of dental plaque. (2011-08-22)

Researchers investigate muscle-building effect of protein beverages for athletes
The researchers concluded that muscle metabolism after exercise can be manipulated via dietary means. In terms of the most beneficial timing of protein intake, immediate postexercise consumption appears to be best. (2011-08-18)

Virus uses 'Swiss Army knife' protein to cause infection
In an advance in understanding Mother Nature's copy machines, motors, assembly lines and other biological nano-machines, scientists are describing how a multipurpose protein on the tail of a virus bores into bacteria like a drill bit, clears the shavings out of the hole and enlarges the hole. They report on the (2011-08-17)

Potential new eye tumor treatment discovered
New research from a team including several Carnegie scientists demonstrates that a specific small segment of RNA could play a key role in the growth of a type of malignant childhood eye tumor called retinoblastoma. The tumor is associated with mutations of a protein called Rb, which is also involved with other types of cancers, including lung, brain, breast and bone. Their work could result in a new therapeutic target. (2011-08-04)

Largest-ever map of interactions of plant proteins produced
An international consortium of scientists has produced the first systematic network map of interactions that occur between proteins in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. (Arabidopsis is a mustard plant that has 27,000 proteins and serves as a popular model organism for biological studies of plants, analogous to lab rats that serve as popular model organisms for biological studies of animals.) (2011-08-01)

Mechanism of sculpting the plasma membrane of intestinal cells identified
The research group of Professor Pekka Lappalainen at the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, has identified a previously unknown mechanism which modifies the structure of plasma membranes in intestinal epithelial cells. Unlike other proteins with a similar function, the new protein - named 'Pinkbar' by the researchers -- creates planar membrane sheets. Further research investigates the potential connection of this protein with various intestinal disorders. The study was published in the prestigious Nature Structural & Molecular Biology journal. (2011-08-01)

Cellular stress can induce yeast to promote prion formation
Biochemists have identified a yeast protein called Lsb2 that can promote spontaneous prion formation. Prions can cause neurodegenerative disorders, such as mad cow/Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, in humans and animals. (2011-07-22)

Software helps synthetic biologists customize protein production
A software program developed by a Penn State synthetic biologist could provide biotechnology companies with genetic plans to help them turn bacteria into molecular factories, capable of producing everything from biofuels to medicine. (2011-07-21)

Inducing non-REM sleep in mice by novel optogenetical control technique
Associate Professor Akihiro YAMANAKA from National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS), succeeded in suppressing only the activity of the orexin neurons in the mice's brains (hypothalamus) when the optical switch was on, using the light-activated protein, halorhodopsin (eNpHR). Those mice fell into non-REM sleep (slow-wave sleep) only when the halorhodopsin-expressed orexin neurons were exposed to the light. It is reported in the Journal of Neuroscience published by the Society for Neuroscience. (2011-07-20)

Controlling movements with light
Researchers at the Ruhr-Universitaet have succeeded in controlling the activity of certain nerve cells using light, thus influencing the movements of mice. By changing special receptors in nerve cells of the cerebellum such that they can be activated and deactivated by light, the researchers have shown that the signaling pathways, which are activated by the receptors play a crucial role in controlling movement. (2011-07-20)

SUMO defeats protein aggregates that typify Parkinson's disease
A small protein called SUMO might prevent the protein aggregations that typify Parkinson's disease (PD), according to a new study in the July 11, 2011, issue of the Journal of Cell Biology. (2011-07-11)

A chaperone system guides tail-anchored membrane proteins to their destined membrane
Newly synthesized proteins can only fold into their correct three dimensional structure thanks to chaperones. In case of membrane proteins chaperones do not only prevent their aggregation, but also escort them to their destination and aid in membrane insertion. The underlying molecular mechanism has now been resolved for tail-anchored membrane proteins. (2011-07-05)

USC researchers find new clues about protein linked to Parkinson's disease
Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California have uncovered structural clues about the protein linked to Parkinson's disease, which ultimately could lead to finding a cure for the degenerative neurological disorder. (2011-06-16)

Sugar-binding protein may play a role in HIV infection
Researchers report that a sugar-binding protein called galectin-9 traps PDI on T-cells' surface, making them more susceptible to HIV infection. (2011-06-14)

MARC travel awards announced for the 25th Symposium of the Protein Society
FASEB's MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for The 25th Symposium of the Protein Society in Boston, Mass., from July 23-27, 2011. These awards are meant to promote the entry of underrepresented minority students, post-doctorates and scientists into the mainstream of the basic science community and to encourage the participation of young scientists at the 25th Symposium of the Protein Society. (2011-06-13)

From body builders to baby boomers: IFT session explores protein recommendations beyond muscle
From body builders to baby boomers, more Americans are consuming higher-protein diets for benefits beyond building muscle. To help the food industry stay abreast of advancing research on the health benefits of protein and keep step with the changing consumer landscape, Dairy Council of California and National Dairy Council are co-sponsoring a symposium presentation at the 2011 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo on June 12 in New Orleans, La. (2011-06-09)

Protein folding made easy
Computational methods of modeling protein folding have existed for a couple of decades. But they required hundreds of thousands of CPU hours to compute the folding dynamics of 40 amino acids proteins. Now, McGill researchers have developed algorithms able to predict correctly in 10 minutes on a single laptop, a coarse-grained representation of the folding pathways of a protein with 60 amino acids. (2011-06-07)

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