A subset of protein complexes whose role has long been thought to consist only of chemically degrading and discarding of proteins no longer needed by cells appears to also play a role in sending messages from one nerve cell to another, researchers report.
Paper. (paywall) Together, the researchers say, these findings suggest that the neuronal membrane-bound proteasome is vitally important for cell signaling. Their experiments bring up a host of new questions about what specific proteins this complex is degrading, what compounds it’s expelling and what happens when this system breaks down, Ramachandran says. He and Margolis, he says, are already discovering links between glitches in this system and neurological disease, such as neurodegeneration.
“Realistically, understanding the different facets of this newly discovered proteasome could take a lifetime to work out,” he says. – Kapil V Ramachandran, Seth S Margolis. A mammalian nervous-system-specific plasma membrane proteasome complex that modulates neuronal function. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, 2017; DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.3389 More.
Right. More layers of entirely accidental complexity that could take a lifetime to figure out.
See also: Discovery of 7 times higher complexity of protein folding!
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