Molecular mechanism of choline and ethanolamine transport in humans. (

These scientists studied two important proteins called FLVCR1 and FLVCR2, which are like tiny machines in our cells that help move certain substances in and out. These proteins are important because when they don't work properly, it can lead to different health problems.

Before this study, scientists thought that FLVCR1 might help export a substance called haem, while FLVCR2 might help import it. However, they didn't have all the details on how these proteins really work.

In this new study, the scientists found out that FLVCR1 and FLVCR2 actually help transport two other substances called choline and ethanolamine across the cell's outer layer. They discovered this by looking at the shapes and movements of these proteins very closely.

By studying the structures and using computer simulations, the scientists figured out how these proteins change shape to grab onto choline and ethanolamine and move them in and out of the cell. They found that specific parts of the proteins, called tryptophan and tyrosine, are like special pockets that hold onto choline and ethanolamine.

This study helps us understand how these proteins work, how they might be involved in certain diseases, and how they move substances in and out of our cells. It's like solving a puzzle to learn more about how our bodies function!

Ri K., Weng TH., Claveras Cabezudo A., Josting W., Zhang Y., Bazzone A., Leong NCP., Welsch S., Doty RT., Gursu G., Lim TJY., Schmidt SL., Abkowitz JL., Hummer G., Wu D., Nguyen LN., Safarian S. Molecular mechanism of choline and ethanolamine transport in humans. Nature. 2024 May 22. doi: 10.1038/s41586-024-07444-7.

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