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Cells’ garbage disposal also has another job


From ScienceDaily:

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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The abstract of the referenced paper:
In the nervous system, rapidly occurring processes such as neuronal transmission and calcium signaling are affected by short-term inhibition of proteasome function. It is unclear how proteasomes are able to acutely regulate such processes, as this action is inconsistent with their canonical role in proteostasis. Here we describe a mammalian nervous-system-specific membrane proteasome complex that directly and rapidly modulates neuronal function by degrading intracellular proteins into extracellular peptides that can stimulate neuronal signaling. This proteasome complex is closely associated with neuronal plasma membranes, exposed to the extracellular space, and catalytically active. Selective inhibition of the membrane proteasome complex by a cell-impermeable proteasome inhibitor blocked the production of extracellular peptides and attenuated neuronal-activity-induced calcium signaling. Moreover, we observed that membrane-proteasome-derived peptides were sufficient to induce neuronal calcium signaling. Our discoveries challenge the prevailing notion that proteasomes function primarily to maintain proteostasis, and highlight a form of neuronal communication that takes place through a membrane proteasome complex.
A mammalian nervous-system-specific plasma membrane proteasome complex that modulates neuronal function Kapil V Ramachandran & Seth S Margolis Nature Structural & Molecular Biology (2017) doi:10.1038/nsmb.3389 Dionisio
They ain't seen nothing' yet. :) Dionisio
As I've stated so many times here at UD, the ID revolution is not fueled by religious sentiments, but, rather, by scientific innovations. The more we slow time down, and the closer we can look at things, all we're going to see is more and more complexity, the level of which is astronomically higher than anything a random process can bring about. Only scientific fundamentalism can prop up an antiquated, incoherent theory. PaV

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