A change in rigidity switches the function of protein condensates involved in sensing touch

A team of researchers describes in Nature Cell Biology the mechanism by which the MEC-2 protein condensates of the touch receptor neurons transition from fluid to solid-like states, switching their role in the transmission of mechanical forces. These findings pave the way for developing innovative therapies and treatments.

Researchers Report Protein Mutation Creates ‘Super’ T Cells with Potential to Fight Off Cancer and Infections

Using laboratory-grown cells from humans and genetically engineered mice, scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine say they have evidence that modifying a specific protein in immune white blood cells known as CD8+ T cells can make the cells more robust, potentially opening the door for better use of people’s own immune system T cells to fight cancer.

Protein p53 regulates learning, memory, sociability in mice

Researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology have established the protein p53 as critical for regulating sociability, repetitive behavior, and hippocampus-related learning and memory in mice, illuminating the relationship between the protein-coding gene TP53 and neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders.

New research finds mechanism that regulates PTSD in the female brain

From humans to plants to single-cell organisms, there’s a protein that rules them all. This protein does general housekeeping of the cells, regulating them through normal daily functions. Virginia Tech researchers found that one specific form of this ubiquitous protein has a different function in the female brains – it helps regulate events in the memory that cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Researchers identify a potential new therapeutic target in Parkinson’s disease

In a study published in Nature Communications, a team led by Krembil Brain Institute at UHN Senior Scientists, Drs. Lorraine Kalia and Suneil Kalia, and University of Toronto (U of T) Professor, Dr. Philip M. Kim, identified a protein-protein interaction that contributes to Parkinson’s disease. In the disease, a protein called α-synuclein (a-syn) accumulates in the brain and leads to cell death.

Chula Medicine Reveals Innovative Detection of Latent Dementia A 10-Year Awareness May delay Alzheimer’s Onset in Elderly

Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases Health Science Center, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University has researched a blood test for markers of Alzheimer’s that can give a 10-year warning, so people can be prepared to slow down the development of dementia in old age.

UCSF Researchers Uncover New Pathway for Molecular Cancer Drug Therapies

In a study published December 8, 2022 in Science, UCSF researchers Kevin Lou, an MD-PhD student, Luke Gilbert, PhD, and Kevan Shokat, PhD, reveal the discovery of a cellular uptake pathway important for larger molecules. These large and complex molecules bind in unconventional ways to their targets, are efficiently taken up by target cells, and can be harnessed to create new drugs for the treatment of cancer and other diseases.

Blood Protein Levels and Birth Control Pills May Increase Blood Clot Risk in Female Astronauts

Article title: Albumin, oral contraceptives and venous thromboembolism risk in astronauts Authors: Sara R. Zwart, Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor, Martina Heer, M. Mark Melin, Scott M. Smith From the authors: “We report here evidence of an association between oral contraceptive use…

The cycle of light: Analyzing how cellular proteins in leaves change through day, night

Because next-generation biofuels will depend on the growth and hardiness of woody feedstocks, scientists have sought to better understand how leaf cells quickly respond to environmental cues such as light, temperature and water. Scientists at the Center for Bioenergy Innovation, or CBI, have studied rapid molecular changes in leaves from poplar trees during normal daily cycles of daylight and darkness. Until now, the effect of these modifications at the cellular protein level was not well understood, partly because of the technical limitations of the analytical tools available.

AF2Complex: Researchers Leverage Deep Learning to Predict Physical Interactions of Protein Complexes

Proteins are the molecular machinery that makes life possible, and researchers have long been interested in a key trait of protein function: their three-dimensional structure. A new study by Georgia Tech and Oak Ridge National Laboratory details a computational tool able to predict the structure protein complexes – and lends new insights into the biomolecular mechanisms of their function.

Putting A Protein Into Overdrive to Heal Spinal Cord Injuries

Using genetic engineering, researchers at UT Southwestern and Indiana University have reprogrammed scar-forming cells in mouse spinal cords to create new nerve cells, spurring recovery after spinal cord injury. The findings, published online today in Cell Stem Cell, could offer hope for the hundreds of thousands of people worldwide who suffer a spinal cord injury each year.

Nuclear War Could Trigger Big El Niño and Decrease Seafood

A nuclear war could trigger an unprecedented El Niño-like warming episode in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, slashing algal populations by 40 percent and likely lowering the fish catch, according to a Rutgers-led study. The research, published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, shows that turning to the oceans for food if land-based farming fails after a nuclear war is unlikely to be a successful strategy – at least in the equatorial Pacific.

Missing Protein Helps Small Cell Lung Cancer Evade Immune Defenses

DALLAS – Jan. 25, 2021 – Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) cells are missing a surface protein that triggers an immune response, allowing them to hide from one of the body’s key cancer defenses, a new study led by UT Southwestern researchers suggests. The findings, reported online today in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, could lead to new treatments for SCLC, which has no effective therapies.

Researchers use lasers and molecular tethers to create perfectly patterned platforms for tissue engineering

University of Washington researchers developed a technique to modify naturally occurring biological polymers with protein-based biochemical messages to affect cell behavior. Their approach uses near-infrared lasers to trigger chemical adhesion of proteins to scaffolds made from biological polymers like collagen.

UCI engineers reveal molecular secrets of cephalopod powers

Irvine, Calif., Dec. 17, 2020 — Reflectins, the unique structural proteins that give squids and octopuses the ability to change colors and blend in with their surroundings, are thought to have great potential for innovations in areas as diverse as electronics, optics and medicine. Scientists and inventors have been stymied in their attempts to fully utilize the powers of these biomolecules due to their atypical chemical composition and high sensitivity to subtle environmental changes.

Research News Tip Sheet: Story Ideas From Johns Hopkins Medicine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Johns Hopkins Medicine Media Relations is focused on disseminating current, accurate and useful information to the public via the media. As part of that effort, we are distributing our “COVID-19 Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins” every other Tuesday.

Marine Fisheries Will Not Offset Farm Losses after Nuclear War

After a nuclear war, wild-catch marine fisheries will not offset the loss of food grown on land, especially if widespread overfishing continues, according to a Rutgers co-authored study. But effective pre-war fisheries management would greatly boost the oceans’ potential contribution of protein and nutrients during a global food emergency, according to the study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study for the first time explored the effects of nuclear war on wild-catch marine fisheries.

Large-scale cancer proteomics study profiles protein changes in response to drug treatments

Through large-scale profiling of protein changes in response to drug treatments in cancer cell lines, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have generated a valuable resource to aid in predicting drug sensitivity, to understand therapeutic resistance mechanisms and to identify optimal combination treatment strategies.

Progress Toward Antiviral Treatments for COVID-19

COVID-19 is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, which is structurally similar to the viruses that cause SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. In The Journal of Chemical Physics, scientists report molecular-level investigations of these viruses, providing a possible pathway to antiviral drugs to fight the diseases. They looked at a viral protein that plays a role in the virus’s ability to replicate and in defeating the host’s immune system, making it an attractive target for potential drug treatments.

Inflammatory Protein Found to Protect against Metabolic, Gut Changes in Mice

Article title: Lipocalin 2 deficiency-induced gut microbiota dysbiosis evokes metabolic syndrome in aged mice Authors: Vishal Singh, Sarah Galla, Rachel M. Golonka, Andrew D. Patterson, Benoit Chassaing, Bina Joe, Matam Vijay-Kumar From the authors: “Overall, the current study demonstrates that…