Molecular Staging

Molecular Staging is addressing this demand with a portfolio of products and services based on technologies that are transforming the detection and measurement of both proteins and nucleic acids.

  • images20The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is probably the organism more closely associated with the progress, welfare and recent human evolution. The result of this importance in human activities, is one of the most studied organisms from their genomic sequence to the specific fermentative activity of the many existing varieties. These groups united by the study of this yeast is that of Joaquín Ariño and Antonio Casamayor and his team of molecular biology of yeast at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

    The investigation of these specialists are reflected in a recent article in The Journal of Biological Chemistry on the transcriptional profiles of different phosphatases in Saccharomyces and functional role for them. Specifically, the study focuses on protein phosphatases 2C, a group of phosphatases encoded by several genes related. The experts analyzed transcriptional profiles in various mutants of these genes and identified two basic patterns, that of a mutation in the gene PTC1 and generated by deletion of genes PTC2-5.

    The mutation in PTC1 results in enhanced expression of genes that are also expressed when there is damage in the cell wall to maintain the integrity of it. There is also an increase in the activation of calcineurin and cell sensitivity to calcium, heavy metals and high pH, and a vacuolar function deficit. The authors speculate that the direct effect of loss of PTC1 is concrete action in a bad cell vacuolar activity and, therefore, the defects previously mentioned. This new perspective on the role of this gene could facilitate the search for specific protein targets PTC1 unidentified so far.

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  • images19Angela Nieto’s team has been working for 14 years in the functional analysis of the Snail gene family. After spending several years at the National Institute for Medical Research, London, Nieto is now a research professor at the Institute of Neurosciences of Alicante, where he heads a research group devoted to motion analysis and cellular plasticity. The first results of the group pointed to a fundamental role of Snail genes in embryonic smooth .

    In this work, published in The EMBO Journal, Nieto group presents, in collaboration with the Hospital de San Juan de Alicante and the Imperial College of London, the first data that could result in the use of control of the expression of Snail as a diagnostic marker and target for anticancer therapies.

    During embryonic development, the kidney epithelium originates from mesenchymal cells, whereas the opposite regression process has been associated with epithelial tumors and fibrosis leading to renal failure. It is known that Snail participates in the progression of such tumors, but so far no known role in development. This study has allowed recognition of Snail genes as a group of lowered expression during development and that this inhibition is correlated with the expression of cadherin-16. By contrast, Snail-induced activation leads to suppression of cadherin-16 through renal differentiation factors, which marked a new path of impaired kidney homeostasis. In turn, activation induces renal fibrosis in transgenic mice, while normal Snail expression remains silent.

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  • images18It is well known by all the activity of ion channels on the cell surface is essential for nerve signal transmission between neurons. Clearly, many factors regulate the activation and the level of traffic through these ion channels specific protein .

    The group of Jose Ramon Naranjo, at the National Center for Biotechnology, has spent years focussing on the different mechanisms of regulation of gene expression in neurons in response to external signals that induce membrane depolarization. In these complex networks of control, the role of calcium and potassium channels focuses the latest hospitality group.

    In this paper just published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, the authors try to unravel the effect of the interaction of the protein DREAM (DRE sites antagonist modulator) with GRK2 and GRK6 kinases. Repressor DREAM is a calcium-dependent transcription in the nucleus and a regulator of trafficking of potassium channels in cell membranes. The interaction of DREAM with kinases occurs by phosphorylation. The experiments have uncovered that this reaction occurs specifically on serine at position 95 of the protein but no effect on repressor activity of DREAM. Interestingly, when this amino acid serine is mutated to aspartic acid, DREAM blocks membrane expression of Kv4.2 potassium channel.

    Well, all these repressive effects and deregulation appear to be mediated, in turn, by cations Ca2 +, since treatment with calcineurin inhibitors block the potassium channels by interaction with DREAM and DREAM dephosphorylates complex in vitro.

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  • images17Understanding the mechanisms of protein production, how and why they fold in a certain way, how they act and interact, and ultimately better understand how they work, is one of the most exciting challenges facing the biomedical sciences. In this sense, Biocomputing, with supercomputers as key tools is enabling many of the puzzles to reveal still open on these key players in the diversification of life functions of organisms. In recent years, scientists have discovered that protein function is determined by both its stable structure as the conformational changes occurring in terms of external stimuli. This is what has been called, in recent studies, molecular flexibility proteína.1, 2 Read the rest of this entry »

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  • resize7Researchers Differentiation and Cancer Programme of the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona (CRG) have shown, in an article that took the cover of a recent issue of Cancer Cell, the connections between DNA methylation mechanisms and the complex Polycomb protein, both involvedyear in Nature that the two mechanisms mentioned above could be interconnected with each other biochemically regulate genes together. Now what we have done is to check in tumor cells of patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia. The work has shown that two mechanisms are not only interconnected, but one reinforces the other and, moreover, one needs the other. This is an important contribution for future drug therapy, since it assumes that if you can correct the activity of one of the two mechanisms regulated erroneously reverse the actions of another. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • images14The human genome sequence has been a breakthrough for modern biology, a milestone similar to the discovery of the structure of the DNA chain or by the assumption that each gene codes for a protein. Despite its importance, and our current view of biology, these data are static. So today we take into account many more elements to understand the process of differentiation and functional specialization of cells with the same genome. One approach is to look at the result of the expression of the genome, ie proteins that are synthesized from the information contained in DNA. This level of analysis gives us a dynamic view on how much of the genetic information is expressed in the cell at a given time. Furthermore, it is a higher level, that of functional protections: when there is a change in the environment, our genome remains unchanged, while our protease can be modified to preserve the physiological properties of cells .

    The proteins, once synthesized, are modified by the attachment of other molecules in a stable or unstable, which can radically alter the final biological activity of the protein. The post-transcriptional modification (RNA editing) and post translational (phosphorescent, constellation, adulation and cleavage, etc.) Allow for protein biological activity very different part of the same gene. This overview is attached to the modeling of phenomena of structural conformation of proteins and their multiple interactions at different levels, offer a global map of the molecular dynamics of proteins in the work discussed below.

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  • images13The emergence and development of cancer is a complex mechanism in which certain signal transduction pathways appear to be active. Among these signal transduction pathways, activation of receptor epidermal growth factor (EGF) plays an intermediary role profile, with connotations in susceptibility to tumor development . Read the rest of this entry »

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  • images10The CGRFA gene is a negative regulator fotocarotenogénesis in the fungus Mucor circinelloides. The amino acid sequence of the protein CGRFA shows the existence of a RING-finger domain is essential for the regulatory role of CGRFA, which defines a family of E3 ubiquitin ligases involved in the path of ubiquitin-proteasome degradation.
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    This team’s work Rosa María Ruiz-Vázquez, University of Murcia, shows that cellular levels of wild strains CGRFA Mucor are extremely low, so have studied the possible post-transcriptional regulation CGRFA. By site-directed mutagenesis, have observed that the translation starts exclusively CGRFA a GUG codon located upstream of the first AUG codon. This is the first time describes the natural occurrence of a codon other than AUG in a RING-finger protein regulator. The extension 5 ‘sequence CGRFA from previously proposed as the initiator AUG to GUG codon identified, reveals the existence of a RING-finger domain added at the end terminal of the protein. Mutations in conserved residues of this domain results in nonfunctional versions of the protein, indicating that this domain is essential for the regulatory role of the fotocarotenogénesis CGRFA.
    BEcarbon BEcarbon
    The role of RING-fingerr two domains on the stability of the protein CGRFA has been investigated using yeasts. CGRFA wild version is very unstable, while CGRFA versions which have the deleted one or two RING-finger domains are very stable. The presence of proteasome inhibitors stabilizes wild CGRFA version in yeast, suggesting that CGRFA is degraded by the proteasome and that the RING-finger domains are essential for it, helping to maintain the low levels required for proper CGRFA fotocarotenogénesis regulation.

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  • images9Procesos como el desarrollo embrionario, la angiogénesis, la cicatrización de heridas y la metástasis se basan en la migración celular, un complejo proceso regulado por múltiples rutas de señalización intracelular. Las integrinas y las GTPasas de bajo peso molecular de la familia Rho/Rac son algunos de los reguladores más importantes de este proceso. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • images8The CGRFA gene is a negative regulator fotocarotenogénesis in the fungus Mucor circinelloides. The amino acid sequence of the protein CGRFA shows the existence of a RING-finger domain is essential for the regulatory role of CGRFA, which defines a family of E3 ubiquitin ligases involved in the path of ubiquitin-proteasome degradation.


    This team’s work Rosa María Ruiz-Vázquez, University of Murcia, shows that cellular levels of wild strains CGRFA Mucor are extremely low, so have studied the possible post-transcriptional regulation CGRFA. By site-directed mutagenesis, have observed that the translation starts exclusively CGRFA a GUG codon located upstream of the first AUG codon. This is the first time describes the natural occurrence of a codon other than AUG in a RING-finger protein regulator. The extension 5 ‘sequence CGRFA from previously proposed as the initiator AUG to GUG codon identified, reveals the existence of a RING-finger domain added at the end terminal of the protein. Mutations in conserved residues of this domain results in nonfunctional versions of the protein, indicating that this domain is essential for the regulatory role of the fotocarotenogénesis CGRFA.


    The role of RING-fingerr two domains on the stability of the protein CGRFA has been investigated using yeasts. CGRFA wild version is very unstable, while CGRFA versions which have the deleted one or two RING-finger domains are very stable. The presence of proteasome inhibitors stabilizes wild CGRFA version in yeast, suggesting that CGRFA is degraded by the proteasome and that the RING-finger domains are essential for it, helping to maintain the low levels required for proper CGRFA fotocarotenogénesis regulation.

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