Researchers link impaired protein assembly function to congestive heart failure

Dec. 20, 2010
Reearchers at South Dakota State University College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry are interested in the connection of congestive heart failure to impaired function of the myofilament, a protein assembly regulated by calcium that makes the heart contract.

John Robinson, a medical doctor and biophysicist at the South Dakota State University College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is interested in the connection of congestive heart failure to impaired function of the myofilament, a protein assembly regulated by calcium that makes the heart contract. Robinson and his team will work to establish what molecular interactions are taking place as the myofilament contracts, and to understand the mechanisms at work when myofilaments’ sensitivity to calcium is altered.

Because myofilament functions take place at the nanoscale, Robinson’s laboratory, a part of the SDSU-based Center for Biological Control and Analysis by Applied Photonics (BCAAP), uses fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to study them. And because FRET measurements are at the “single molecule” level, his lab can study myofilaments one at a time.

Robinson's research has been awarded a grant of about $1.8 million over five years by the Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Source: South Dakota State University

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Posted by Lee Mather

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