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Biotech Science

Researchers Show How Cellular Complexity Can Evolve 140

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the cellular-reverse-engineering dept.
ananyo writes with an excerpt from a Nature news release: "By bringing long-dead proteins back to life, researchers have worked out the process by which evolution added a component to a cellular machine. ... In a paper published in Nature, researchers recreated an 'ancestral' version of a cellular machine called the V-ATPase proton pump, which channels protons across membranes and is vital for keeping cell compartments at the right acidity. Part of this machine is a ring of six proteins that threads through the membrane. Animals and most other eukaryotes have a ring composed of two types of protein component; fungi are alone in having a ring with three. The researchers used computational methods to work backwards and find the most likely sequences of these proteins hundreds of millions of years ago. The team inserted the DNA into yeast and found that just two mutations can turn the simple 2-protein ring into the more complex 3-protein ring."
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Researchers Show How Cellular Complexity Can Evolve

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  • Error in post (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2012 @01:17PM (#38639728)

    The research was published in PLoS Biology, not in Nature.

  • Wrong paper? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2012 @01:27PM (#38639822)

    Second link points to wrong paper, Nature paper is here. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature10724.html

  • Old News? (Score:3, Funny)

    by arun84h (1454607) on Monday January 09, 2012 @01:29PM (#38639860)

    "The researchers used computational methods to work backwards and find the most likely sequences of these proteins hundreds of millions of years ago."

    So why are we just hearing about it now?

  • Wait for it... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Monday January 09, 2012 @01:38PM (#38639974) Homepage

    Pat Robertson: "Science perverting resurrection is an abomination, and God's wrath will strike us most likely in the form of a random earthquake or hurricane or tornado sometime within the 12 months."

    I'd add the /sarcasm tag just to show I'm just making fun of him, but I actually think my prediction of what will show up on YouTube from him next is pretty accurate.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Richard Dawkins should be jealous of Robertson, who has converted far more Christians to athiesm than Dawkins ever dreamed of. But what, exactly, does Pat Robertson have to do with researchers working out the process by which evolution added a component to a cellular machine?

      • Richard Dawkins should be jealous of Robertson, who has converted far more Christians to athiesm than Dawkins ever dreamed of. But what, exactly, does Pat Robertson have to do with researchers working out the process by which evolution added a component to a cellular machine?

        Pat Robertson's involvement with protein goes back a long time: http://www.cbn.com/communitypublic/shake.aspx [cbn.com]

  • Error in summary (Score:5, Interesting)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Monday January 09, 2012 @01:53PM (#38640160) Homepage Journal
    The V-ATPase generally has more than 6 proteins that cross the membrane. Depending on the species, it is usually more around 10-12 individual subunits that work together to form a ring for useful transport.

    From a biochemical perspective, it is also worthwhile to point out that the enzyme is powered by ATP hydrolysis - hence the name V-ATPase. It is a motor, and ATP is the fuel. Without ATP you get no useful work.
  • Here is the Nature Article mentioned in the summary [nature.com] - the link in the summary goes to a PLoS Biology article.

    It was just published online today, I don't see any other copies available yet. However, the primary author of the paper is supported by an NIH grant, so the paper should be released in its entirety as a non-paywalled article fairly soon to comply with the NIH funding rules.
  • "researchers have worked out the process by which evolution added a component to a cellular machine"

    No, they did not.

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