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A protein that makes you turn around. [Report]



Asymmetry plays an important role in biology at all scales: think of DNA spirals, the fact that the human heart is placed on the left, our preference to use our left or right hand … A team from the Institute of Biology Valrose (CNRS / Inserm / Université Côte d '# Azur), in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania, has shown how a single protein induces a spiral movement in another molecule. Through a domino effect, this causes the cells, organs and indeed the whole body to twist, which triggers a lateralized behavior. This research is published in the journal. Science on November 23, 2018.

Our world is fundamentally asymmetric: think of the double helix of DNA, the asymmetric division of stem cells or the fact that the human heart is placed on the left. But how do these asymmetries arise, and are they linked together?

At the Valrose Institute of Biology, a team led by CNRS researcher Stéphane Noselli, which also includes Inserm and researchers from the Université Cote d'Azur, has been studying right-left asymmetry for several years to solve these enigmas . The biologists had identified the first gene that controlled the asymmetry in the common fruit fly (Drosophila), one of the model organisms preferred by biologists. More recently, the team showed that this gene plays the same role in vertebrates: the protein it produces, myosin 1D, controls the coiling or rotation of organs in the same direction.

In this new study, the researchers induced the production of Myosin 1D in normally symmetrical organs of Drosophila, such as the respiratory trachea. Quite spectacular, this was enough to induce asymmetry at all levels: deformed cells, trachea winding around itself, torsion of the whole body and the behavior of helical locomotives among fly larvae. It should be noted that these new asymmetries always develop in the same direction.

To identify the origin of these cascading effects, biochemists from the University of Pennsylvania also contributed to the project: on a glass coverslip, they contacted Myosin 1D with a component of the cytoskeleton (the "backbone" of the cell), namely, actin. They could observe that the interaction between the two proteins caused the actin to spin spirally.

In addition to its role in right-left asymmetry between Drosophila and vertebrates, Myosin 1D appears to be a unique protein that is capable of inducing asymmetry at all scales, first at the molecular level, then, through a domino effect, at Cells, tissues and behavioral level. These results suggest a possible mechanism for the sudden appearance of new morphological characteristics in the course of evolution, such as, for example, the torsion of the bodies of snails. Myosin 1D seems to have all the characteristics necessary for the emergence of this innovation, since its expression alone is sufficient to induce torsion at all scales.

More information:
"Myosin 1D induces molecular chirality to the organism" Science (2018). science.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi… 1126 / science.aat8642

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Asymmetry plays an important role in biology at all scales: think of DNA spirals, the fact that the human heart is placed on the left, our preference to use our left or right hand … A team from the Institute of Biology Valrose (CNRS / Inserm / Université Côte d '# Azur), in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania, has shown how a single protein induces a spiral movement in another molecule. Through a domino effect, this causes the cells, organs and indeed the whole body to twist, which triggers a lateralized behavior. This research is published in the journal. Science on November 23, 2018.

Our world is fundamentally asymmetric: think of the double helix of DNA, the asymmetric division of stem cells or the fact that the human heart is placed on the left. But how do these asymmetries arise, and are they linked together?

At the Valrose Institute of Biology, a team led by CNRS researcher Stéphane Noselli, which also includes Inserm and researchers from the Université Cote d'Azur, has been studying right-left asymmetry for several years to solve these enigmas . The biologists had identified the first gene that controlled the asymmetry in the common fruit fly (Drosophila), one of the model organisms preferred by biologists. More recently, the team showed that this gene plays the same role in vertebrates: the protein it produces, myosin 1D, controls the coiling or rotation of organs in the same direction.

In this new study, the researchers induced the production of Myosin 1D in normally symmetrical organs of Drosophila, such as the respiratory trachea. Quite spectacular, this was enough to induce asymmetry at all levels: deformed cells, trachea winding around itself, torsion of the whole body and the behavior of helical locomotives among fly larvae. It should be noted that these new asymmetries always develop in the same direction.

To identify the origin of these cascading effects, biochemists from the University of Pennsylvania also contributed to the project: on a glass coverslip, they contacted Myosin 1D with a component of the cytoskeleton (the "backbone" of the cell), namely, actin. They could observe that the interaction between the two proteins caused the actin to spin spirally.

In addition to its role in right-left asymmetry between Drosophila and vertebrates, Myosin 1D appears to be a unique protein that is capable of inducing asymmetry at all scales, first at the molecular level, then, through a domino effect, at Cells, tissues and behavioral level. These results suggest a possible mechanism for the sudden appearance of new morphological characteristics in the course of evolution, such as, for example, the torsion of the bodies of snails. Myosin 1D seems to have all the characteristics necessary for the emergence of this innovation, since its expression alone is sufficient to induce torsion at all scales.

More information:
"Myosin 1D induces molecular chirality to the organism" Science (2018). science.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi… 1126 / science.aat8642

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