2020年8月13日 星期四

A magnetic protein biocompass

The notion that animals can detect the Earth's magnetic field was once ridiculed, but is now well established. Yet the biological nature of such magnetosensing phenomenon remains unknown. Here, we report a putative magnetic receptor (Drosophila CG8198, here named MagR) and a multimeric magnetosensing rod-like protein complex, identified by theoretical postulation and genome-wide screening, and validated with cellular, biochemical, structural and biophysical methods. The magnetosensing complex consists of the identified putative magnetoreceptor and known magnetoreception-related photoreceptor cryptochromes (Cry), has the attributes of both Cry- and iron-based systems, and exhibits spontaneous alignment in magnetic fields, including that of the Earth. Such a protein complex may form the basis of magnetoreception in animals, and may lead to applications across multiple fields.

Qin S, Yin H, Yang C, Dou Y, Liu Z, Zhang P, Yu H, Huang Y, Feng J, Hao J, Hao J, Deng L, Yan X, Dong X, Zhao Z, Jiang T, Wang HW, Luo SJ, Xie C*. (2016) A magnetic protein biocompass. Nat Mater., 15(2):217-226.