Scientists identify molecular player critical to proper working of important health proteins

July 01, 2017

"G proteins are involved in many biological processes - how we see and taste, how our heart beats, even our mood," said Tall. "It's a very important class of proteins. Ric-8 is the chaperone that gets G proteins where they need to be, to the cell membrane. Without it, many of these proteins end up destroyed within the cell."

"Understanding more precisely how this important class of proteins operates in the body can perhaps make many of the drugs we use today more effective for patients," Tall added.

To do the study, Tall and colleagues had to devise a system where they could study the molecules in action. In living animals such as mice, when Ric-8 is knocked out completely, the animals die. So the team worked to identify a stem cell line in which the Ric-8 gene was knocked out, so they could study G protein function in the absence of Ric-8.

Source: University of Rochester Medical Center