home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
 
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  
 

Biliverdin Reductase Crystal Structures Give Molecular Info On Bilirubin Production

 
  March, 5 2001 9:37
your information resource in human molecular genetics
 
     
Baby yellow

If you visit the nursery in a hospital, you may see babies under fluorescent lamps - these babies are undergoing treatment for jaundice, a condition caused by the abnormally high level of bilirubins in the bloodstream. Bilirubins can be neurotoxic, and accumulation of this compound in an infant's brain could cause irreversible damage.

Bilirubins are the breakdown product of heme - the oxygen-binding factor of hemoglobin - released from red blood cells that have been destroyed. However, they are not waste products that are completely bad for us. In fact, bilirubins are potent antioxidants made by the human body. Thus, the molecular details of how they are converted from heme are important for understanding how bilirubin production is regulated to benefit rather than harm us.

Heme is converted into bilirubins in two steps: it is first cleaved to produce unstable intermediates, biliverdins; these intermediates are then further processed to bilirubins by enzymes called biliverdin reductases. To understand how these enzymes convert biliverdins into bilirubins, Miquel Coll of the Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona, Spain, and his colleagues at Trinity College, Ireland, as well as Akihiro Kikuchi and coworkers at the RIKEN Harima Institute, Japan, have determined the crystal structures of two different biliverdin reductases (Nature Structural Biology, Vol. 8, No. 3, 01 Mar 2001). These structures provide a wealth of information about the molecular details of bilirubin production.

Antony McDonagh at the University of California San Francisco discusses these findings in an associated News and Views.

Contact information: Dr. Akihiro Kikuchi
RIKEN Harima Institute/SPring-8
Sayo, Hyogo 679-5148
Japan
Telephone: +81 791 58 2817
Fax: +81 791 58 2818
Email: kikuchi@spring8.or.jp

Professor Miquel Coll
Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas
Jordi Girona, 18-26
08034 Barcelona
Spain
Telephone: +34 3 400 6149
Fax: +34 3 204 5904
Email: mcccri@ibmb.csic.es

Professor Antony McDonagh
University of California San Francisco
Division of Gastroenterology
Box 0538, Room S-357
San Francisco, California 94143-0538
USA
Telephone: +1 415-476-6425
Fax: +1 415-476-0659
Email: tonymcd@itsa.ucsf.edu

(C) Nature Structural Biology press release.


Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

print this article mail this article
Bookmark and Share this page (what is this?)

Social bookmarking allows users to save and categorise a personal collection of bookmarks and share them with others. This is different to using your own browser bookmarks which are available using the menus within your web browser.

Use the links below to share this article on the social bookmarking site of your choice.

Read more about social bookmarking at Wikipedia - Social Bookmarking

Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2016 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.