Skip to content

Scientists put out international plea to help figure out purpose of cellular protein 'blobs'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
9/2/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Blobs may hold key to fighting some diseases

Scientists in the U.S. are calling on the scientific community to up their efforts to determine the purpose and function of mysterious blobs in cells that have eluded understanding since they were first discovered 50 years ago.

Scientists are stepping up attempts at understanding the purpose of 'blobs' of protein within human cells.

Scientists are stepping up attempts at understanding the purpose of "blobs" of protein within human cells.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
9/2/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Cell, Science, Health, Technology


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This request from the international community comes as some suspect that these blobs could play a key role in fighting diseases such as cancer.

You can be a light in the darkness with "prayer and action."

These blobs are known as assemblages, and consist of cloudy structures that consist of shifting collections of proteins.

"I want to know what these assemblages are doing in Ewing sarcoma, the disease I concentrate on-and I would think all other researchers who study human biology would want to know their functions in both health and disease," said Jeffrey Toretsky, a professor from Georgetown University.

With Professor Peter Wright, from The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, Toretsky compiled an overview of what is known about these assemblages and published it in the Journal of Cell biology.

"The 'blobs' are often-but not always-made up of intrinsically disordered proteins," they wrote.

This is counter to the behavior of most proteins, whom assume a specific shape that fits certain other molecules.

While the purpose of these blob proteins is not clear, they are not inactive. Rather, they seek each other out and form gel-like structures. These resulting assemblages can trap and interact with other proteins and even RNA-a system that transfers information between DNA and proteins.

"It is only in the last five years that researchers have begun recognizing that proteins without fixed structures may have important transitional properties that change based upon their local abundance in cells," Toretsky explained.

If these blobs do in fact play a role in disease, it might be possible to target them with a small-molecule drug, Toretsky believes.

"Current drug-discovery dogma suggests that it is very hard to make a small molecule to prevent two structured proteins from interacting," he said. "However, small molecules have a greater likelihood of disrupting intrinsically disordered protein-protein interactions.

"This review links together very basic biologic phenomena of protein interaction with the potential for new drug discovery. It's an exciting challenge."

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for MARCH 2017
Support for Persecuted Christians.
That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.


Comments


More Technology

Can science stop YOU from aging? New drug starts human trials THIS YEAR Watch

Image of New anti-aging drug to start human trials within the next six months.

Professor David Sinclair and his team from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) recently unveiled an anti-aging drug that may help get ... continue reading


The Second Agricultural Revolution: The new tech that will change what you eat and END WORLD HUNGER Watch

Image of Cultured meat has been produced and cooked. Turns out, it's just as delicious as any other meat, without the cruelty.

What you eat is about to change forever, and it comes with a lot of other perks and advantages. For example, ending world hunger. Memphis ... continue reading


Ask Alexa - Is Google Home connected to CIA? 'I've got to admit, I'm not sure' Watch

Image of Is Alexa connected to the CIA?

A video shared on YouTube by user SHUBHAM SHUKLA reveals Google Home's "Alexa" answering a short series of questions. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'Let there be light!' Astronomers make an exciting discovery about the first light in the universe Watch

Image of The galaxy [not pictured] is thought to be just 600 years old, a literal baby in cosmic terms.

Astronomers have discovered the earliest galaxy yet, born just 600 years after the creation of the universe. The discovery yields a ... continue reading


UFO spotted on Pacific sea floor, what does this medieval Catholic monk have to do with it? Watch

Image of William of Occam has some advice for our intrepid investigators.

UFO experts are puzzled over the discovery of a massive circular object that appears to have moved erratically on the Pacific sea floor. ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.