An informal name for a molecular cell biology system of signals or “address tags” that guide the movement of a protein within a cell. In more technical terms, protein ZIP codes* are molecular signals that direct the protein from the endoplasmic reticulum, where it is assembled, to the cytoplasm of the cell and into other cellular compartments such as the nucleus of the cell.
Mutations in this molecular system of protein “ZIP codes” have been found to cause several human genetic (hereditary) disorders, including cystic fibrosis and hyperoxaluria (a disorder that causes a special type of stone to form in the urine beginning in childhood).
In 1999 Dr. Gunter Blobel of the Rockefeller University in New York received the Nobel Laureate in Medicine or Physiology for his discovery of this protein signal system of “ZIP codes.”
* For the benefit of viewers not familiar with the United States mail system, the term “ZIP code” refers to address codes of the U.S. Postal Service used to sort mail into geographic regions.
A condition in which there is excessive loss of plasma protein into the intestine. Protein-losing enteropathy can be due to a number of different causes including extensive ulceration of the intestine, intestinal lymphatic blockage, gluten enteropathy, and infiltration of leukemic cells into the intestinal wall.
- Primary HIV infection
The first few months after infection with HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus). During primary HIV infection, seroconversion occurs — the appearance of detectable antibodies to HIV in the blood. It normally takes several weeks to several months for antibodies to the virus to develop after HIV transmission. When antibodies to HIV appear in the blood, […]
- Primary dentition
The set of 20 first (deciduous) teeth. The primary dentition is as opposed to the secondary (permanent) dentition. At birth, both sets of dentition are evident by X-ray.
- Primary ciliary dyskinesia
The immotile cilia syndrome, a condition in which poorly functioning cilia (hairlike projections from cells) in the respiratory tract contribute to retention of secretions and recurrent infection. The condition is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait and is due to mutation in one of several different genes located on chromosomes 5, 9 and 19. About […]
- Proteolipid protein
PLP. Also called lipophilin. The most abundant protein of myelin, the covering and insulation around nerves. The gene PLP1 that codes for PLP is on the X chromosome. Mutations in PLP cause Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD), an X-linked recessive disorder characterized by loss of myelin. PMD causes nystagmus (rhythmical oscillation of the eyeballs), psychomotor developmental delay, […]