Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Novel mechanism discovered for communication between proteins that cause ‘cell suicide’

28.09.2010
A recent study undertaken by investigators at five research centres, amongst which is the CSIC-University of the Basque Country Biophysics Unit, provides new clues for the understanding of the ‘cell suicide’ process. The research was published in the latest issue of the prestigious Cell journal.

Our bodies daily eliminate in a controlled manner more than 100 million defective cells, by means of a procedure known as ‘cell suicide’ or apoptosis. This is a highly complicated process, any imbalances thus arising causing serious diseases, prominent amongst which is cancer.

Over the past two decades it has been possible to identify various cellular components involved in apoptosis. Nevertheless, there are still important unresolved questions about the functioning of certain key elements in this great cell riddle. This study has revealed that three essential components of the apoptotic process, the BAX and DRP-1 proteins and cardiolipin, act in a joint manner to produce a large hole in the external membrane of the mitochondria, proving to be lethal for the cell.

But probably the most surprising aspect of the research is that the researchers have managed to decipher a new ‘language’ used by BAX and DRP-1 for communicating: these two proteins do not interact with each other physically, as usually happens, but they do so through the lipids of the membrane. “More specifically, what one of the proteins (DRP-1) does is to deform the lipid bilayer of the membrane and the resulting structure is what apparently enables the activation of the second protein (BAX)”, explained Mr Gorka Basañez, from the CSIC-UPV/EHU Biophysics Unit, and one of the authors of the research. These findings can open new ways to the rational development of anti-tumour pharmaceutical drugs, specifically targeting these components of the apoptotic cell machinery.

Taking part in this research, led by Professor Jean-Claude Martinou of the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), were, apart from the CSIC-UPV/EHU Biophysics Unit, the universities of Salzburg (Germany), Hanover (Germany) and Florida (USA).

Irati Kortabitarte | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.elhuyar.com

Further reports about: Biophysics CSIC-UPV/EHU DRP-1 Germany cell death pharmaceutical drug

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>