Plant substances govern cellular processes

For the first time, scientists from Dresden proved that plant substances such as those found in red wine, soy, or green tea can accelerate or retard vital processes in cells. These molecules bind to the protein actin which is implicated in cell movement and cell division. According to experimental results published recently in "Biophysical Journal", the ability of actin to join to long chains is either hindered or improved. Surprisingly, it has been shown that these substances also affect the rate at which genetic information is processed in the cell's nucleus. Together with other biomolecules, actin enables muscle contraction, changing the cell shape, and separation of daughter cells during cell division.

Pressemitteilung vom 2.10.2007: Pflanzenstoffe regieren zelluläre Prozesse

Diagram of the steric structure of actin. The arrow shows the probable position of the binding site for flavonoids. The cutaway shows the predicted structure of the quercetin at the binding site. (Reference: PDB, ID 1j6z)