Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
AgriGenomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Bacteria Employ 'Quality-control' Machinery, say Biomolecular Engineers

Published: Friday, August 03, 2012
Last Updated: Friday, August 03, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Like quality-control managers in factories, bacteria possess built-in machinery that track the shape and quality of proteins trying to pass through their cytoplasmic membranes.

This quality-control mechanism is found in the machinery of the twin-arginine translocation (TAT) pathway, which is a protein export pathway in plants, bacteria and archaea (single-celled microorganisms). The transport of proteins across cellular membranes is a basic life process and understanding how the TAT pathway works could lend insight into, for example, how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.

The discovery is a milestone in a 10-plus year study of the TAT pathway led by Matthew DeLisa, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and is detailed in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 30.

"Our first paper on this topic [PNAS, May 13, 2003] suggested that, given the fact that only folded proteins can go through this system, perhaps a quality-control mechanism was embedded in the machinery itself," DeLisa said. "That idea turned out to be controversial, but this most recent paper, we think, reopens that possibility.

"There are no other mechanisms that we're aware of where the transport machinery itself participates directly in the quality control of its substrates. The discovery [of our research] is … paradigm shifting as far as biological transport machinery goes," DeLisa said.

The TAT pathway is remarkable because, unlike other similar processes, the protein cargo passes through the cell membrane in tightly folded shapes, as opposed to long strings. The pathway allows properly folded proteins to pass, while badly folded or damaged ones are not permitted through.

DeLisa and colleagues Mark Rocco, a graduate student, and Dujduan Waraho-Zhmayev, a postdoctoral associate, used an old trick to make this new discovery: They set up a genetic selection experiment that enables researchers to link genetic mutations to the survival of a cell carrying that mutation.

Using a genetic selection for TAT export, they were able to isolate a mutation known as a suppressor in the TAT machinery that allowed the bacteria to survive if they exported misfolded proteins. They concluded that the bacteria's survival was attributed to their ability to export misfolded proteins, which normal bacteria in nature wouldn't do. The team's findings provide the first direct evidence for the participation of the TAT machinery in regulating the export of proteins.

The TAT machinery, they speculate, contains a component that senses whether a protein is folded properly and discriminates between folded or unfolded proteins, allowing export of only the well-folded ones.

The new insight into how the TAT pathway regulates the quality of proteins adds to a growing base of science underlying Ithaca biotechnology company Vybion's proprietary antibody development technology called ProCode.

Several years ago, DeLisa's initial research on the TAT pathway formed the basis of several inventions that have been licensed by Vybion, which is using the technology for creating new antibody drugs, particularly for such diseases as Alzheimer's.

"All of these mechanisms, including the quality control feature, together are elements of the ProCode technology and should be useful in the hunt for 'good' antibodies that bind specifically to their target and are very well behaved from a folding standpoint," said DeLisa, who serves on Vybion's advisory board.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,300+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Wicked Weeds May Be Agricultural Angels
Agricutural scientists suggest less control over nature, as weeds can be beneficial to agriculture.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Pathogen Takes Control of Gypsy Moth Populations
A new fungal pathogen is killing gypsy moth caterpillars and crowding out communities of pathogens and parasites that previously destroyed these moth pests.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
$4.8M USAID Grant to Improve Food Security
To strengthen capacity to develop and disseminate genetically engineered eggplant in Bangladesh and the Philippines, the USAID has awarded Cornell a $4.8 million, three-year cooperative grant.
Friday, April 01, 2016
$5.5M NSF Grant Aims to Improve Rice Crops with Genome Editing
Researchers to precisely target, cut, remove and replace DNA in a living cell to improve rice.
Friday, May 08, 2015
Genetics Used to Improve Plants for Bioenergy
An upcoming genetics investigation into the symbiotic association between soil fungi and feedstock plants for bioenergy production could lead to more efficient uptake of nutrients, which would help limit the need for expensive and polluting fertilizers.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Pest Attacks Can Lead to Bigger Crop Yields
New project receive three-year funding of $498,000 from USDA.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Algal Genes May Boost Efficiency, Yield in Staple Crops
New research has taken a step toward employing genes from blue-green algae to improve staple crop photosynthesis.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Study to Focus on Rice Genes, Yield and Climate
Cornell researchers received a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to study relationships among rice genetics, crop yields and climate.
Thursday, May 01, 2014
New Alfalfa Variety Resists Ravenous Local Pest
The new variety has some resistance against the alfalfa snout beetle which has ravaged alfalfa fields.
Monday, April 28, 2014
Predators Delay Pest Resistance to Bt Crops
Crops genetically modified with the bacterium Bt(Bacillus thuringiensis) produce proteins that kill pest insects.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Shark, Human Proteins are Surprisingly Similar
Despite widespread fascination with sharks, the world’s oldest ocean predators have long been a genetic mystery.
Friday, December 06, 2013
Surprises Discovered in Decoded Kiwifruit Genome
DNA sequence of the kiwifruit has many genetic similarities between its 39,040 genes and other plant species, including potatoes and tomatoes.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Produce Perfect: Biotech Sweet Corn goes Unblemished
With the kernel-loving earworm, producing unblemished ears of sweet corn is difficult.
Monday, October 14, 2013
New Micro Water Sensor Can Aid Growers
Crop growers, wine grape and other fruit growers, food processors and even concrete makers all benefit from water sensors for accurate, steady and numerous moisture readings.
Monday, October 14, 2013
Partnership Homes in on Regenerative Medicine
Scientists are to advance healing techniques and technologies for animals and humans.
Friday, October 04, 2013
Scientific News
BGI Sequences Gingko Tree, Revealing Large, Highly Repetitive Genome
Researchers at BGI have sequenced the more than 10-gigabase ginkgo genome to find a high number of repetitive sequences as well as a number of gene clusters that appear to be involved in defense mechanisms.
Biologists Discover Origin of Stomata
Researchers discover genetic mechanism similar in flowering plants and mosses is a result of evolutionary conservation.
Engineering Bacteria to Aid Ethanol
Splicing in genes for ethanol production into bacteria in order to produce ethanol rather than not lactic acid.
Uncovering a World of Viruses
Study that shows human diseases like influenza are derived from those present in invertebrates.
Controlling Cell Division in Plants
Researchers succeeded in developing a new compound, a triarylmethane, that can rapidly inhibit cell division in plants.
Plant Aging Study Produces Insights into Crop Yields
New insights into the mechanism behind how plants age may help scientists better understand crop yields and nutrient allocation.
Protein-Folding Gene Helps Heal Wounds
Researchers identified a protein that dramatically accelerates wound healing in animal models.
USDA Uses Quorum Tech to Study Soft Bodied Organisms
Quorum Technologies report on US Department of Agriculture using their PP2000 Cryo-SEM preparation system to prepare soft bodied organisms for study.
Nitrogen Fixing Symbiosis Crucial for Microbiome Assembly
New findings from the study of legumes have identified an unknown role of nitrogen fixation symbiosis on plant root-associated microbiome.
Crop Yield Gets Boost with Modified Genes
Researchers increase plant proteins that result in more efficient use of sunlight.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,300+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!