Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Cell Signaling Discovery Nominated as a Breakthrough of the Year in 2010 by Science Signaling

Finding has Potential for Use in the Treatment of Cancer and Genetic Disorders

The editors of Science Signaling, a peer-reviewed scientific journal focusing on the process of basic cellular communication and development, have nominated a discovery made at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School as one of the Signaling Breakthroughs of 2010. The discovery identifies a role for the protein kinase complex mTORC2, which works to control production and quality control of newly synthesized proteins to safeguard against abnormal cell growth that can lead to neurodegenerative disorders and cancer.

Cell signaling is a process of communication at the cellular level that manages cell activity, such as formation or repair, during the cell’s lifespan. According to the Science Signaling editorial, the kinase mTOR is an essential element in cell signaling, as it coordinates information about growth factor, energy status and nutrient availability to regulate cell growth. mTOR signals these development mechanisms through distinct complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2.

In its research, led by Estela Jacinto, PhD, assistant professor of physiology and biophysics at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the team showed that mTORC2 can associate with ribosomes, elements within the cell machinery that make proteins through translation of genetic information. By binding near the “birth canal” of ribosomes, mTORC2 modifies the emerging new protein to control its quality and prevent premature degradation. In the study, mTORC2 was found to control the quality of a protein, Akt that is often defective in cancer. Any disruption to the cell signaling process, including the absence of mTORC2, prohibits proper cell function and may cause cancer and other biological or physical disorders.

“Our findings imply that the functions of mTORC2 could be targeted for therapeutics against cancer and particularly for diseases that are caused by abnormal protein quality control, such as neurodegenerative and aging-related disorders.” said Dr. Jacinto.

The function of mTOR in linking protein synthesis with quality control was previously unknown until the findings of Won Jun Oh, a post-doctoral fellow, and Chang-chih Wu, a doctoral candidate, both members of the Jacinto lab and along with Dr. Jacinto, co-authors of the study, were published in the journal European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) in December 2010. The study was noted as an Editor’s Choice in the December 2010 issue of Science Signaling, which is published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

According to Science Signaling, the list of 2010 Breakthroughs of the Year was compiled as a result of nominations by members of the journal’s Editorial Board. Nominations represented the most exciting advances in signal transduction research of 2010. In its editorial, the journal said, “Although any major advance in cell signaling is fair game for inclusion, we suggested that nominators pay particular attention to unexpected developments and advances likely to open up new research directions.”

As one of the nation’s leading comprehensive medical schools, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in education, research, health care delivery, and the promotion of community health. In cooperation with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, the medical school’s principal affiliate, they comprise New Jersey’s premier academic medical center. In addition, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School has 34 other hospital affiliates and ambulatory care sites throughout the region.

As one of the eight schools of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey with 2,800 full-time and volunteer faculty, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School encompasses 22 basic science and clinical departments, hosts centers and institutes including The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the Child Health Institute of New Jersey, the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, and the Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey. The medical school maintains educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels for more than 1,500 students on its campuses in New Brunswick, Piscataway, and Camden, and provides continuing education courses for health care professionals and community education programs.

To learn more about UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, log on to Find us online at and

Jennifer Forbes | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease

26.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

More VideoLinks >>>