Sunday, December 09, 2007

Faulty Protein Disposal

I just loved the sound of this news article, "Mechanism Found For Faulty Protein Disposal" As you know I have a bit a faulty protein being spewed out by my laughing plasma cells. To add to the cool factor the research focused in on the retrotranslocons in the membrane of the cell's endoplasmic reticulum. It has Transformer like ring to it. My boy loved Transformers about 2 decades ago. They found the protein shredder for faulty proteins. There is a class of MM drugs, proteasome inhibitors, that gum up the shredder, clogging up the cell and killing it. The cell drowns in faulty protein. It gets even cooler though. There is a menagerie of chaperones watching for trouble makers that then become conspirators with the bullies if a protein screws up. Sounds like a junior high school dance on some alien Borg ship from Star Trek.

In addition to BiP and Herp, three other members of the menagerie, Derlin-1, p97 and Hrd 1 collaborate with Herp to extract defective proteins from the retrotranslocon so Herp can hand it over to the proteasome.

Need I say more! The sad part is if I didn't know the terms or names I looked them up and actually liked the article in Molecular Cell. I think I should go read a romance novel now.

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