‘Nature’s escape artists’


A new thematic miniseries on intein-mediated protein splicing appeared in a recent issue of The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

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The intricacies of the calcium ion-binding motif in the βγ-crystallin domain


In the Journal of Biological Chemistry, biophysicist Yogendra Sharma and his group at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in India review the intricacies of the Ca2+-binding motif in the βγ-crystallin domain. The authors cover the architecture of the Ca2+-binding motif and Ca2+ coordination, paying special attention to Ca2+ coordination by the signature sequence residues of the Ca2+-binding site.

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Unfolded protein response signaling and metabolic diseases


In a minireview recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers Jaemin Lee and Umut Ozcan at Boston Children’s Hospital detail the correlation between ER stress and metabolic changes, highlighting some plausible therapeutic solutions.

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Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex


Energy generation in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms is a highly efficient, multistep and tightly regulated process. Normally, glucose is metabolized initially via the glycolytic pathway, generating pyruvate and small amounts of ATP. To harness the full energy content of glucose, pyruvate undergoes further oxidation in the Krebs cycle, generating large amounts of ATP required for cellular functions. The key enzyme complex bridging these two processes is known as the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, or PDC, and is the subject of a minireview published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry recently.

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The many levels of glycolytic flux regulation


Glycolysis is a fundamental metabolic pathway that is critical for the production of energy. Glycolytic flux, or the rate at which molecules proceed through the glycolytic pathway, is tightly regulated in response to the cellular environment. In a recent minireview in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Sigurd Lenzen of the Hannover Medical School in Germany describes the complex regulatory mechanisms underlying glycolytic flux.

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Use your bean (and grain)


A new study in the August issue of the Journal of Lipid Research suggests substituting whole grains and legumes in place of processed, refined rice can reduce the activity of an enzyme implicated in atherosclerosis while also improving control over blood-sugar levels.

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The makings of a honeybee


Honeybees give us our honey, royal jelly, propolis and beeswax and support the ecological structure of the environment by transferring pollen between plants. Despite their ecological and economic importance, very little is known about how honeybee workers develop from embryos to adults at the molecular level. In a paper just out in the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, researchers tackled a proteomic analysis of honeybee worker embryos.

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Special issue features research aided by PRIME-XS, an infrastructure program for proteomics in Europe


The August issue of the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteomics features a substantial collection of articles describing recent research findings from investigators supported by the European Union-funded proteomics consortium known as PRIME-XS. For the uninitiated, the acronym PRIME-XS is short for “Proteomics Research Infrastructure Maximising knowledge EXchange and access.” The consortium’s 12 partner institutions offer the critical infrastructure — specialized instrumentation, expertise and training — for proteomics researchers in Europe who otherwise lack access to such resources.

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