Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cancerous Cells Should Be Urged To Suicide

12.12.2005


When fighting cancerous growths, it is very important to use internal cellular mechanisms on top of various external impacts on the tumor. Among internal mechanisms is cells’ ability for “suicide” - programmed cell death, which is called apoptosis. The cells resort to apoptosis when something is irreparably broken in them and the cells need to perform self-destruction to avoid causing damage to the entire organism. Apoptosis is executed by intracellular protease enzymes (they are called caspases). Caspases destroy target proteins located in the cytoplasm and the cell’s nucleus. Cellular genome is also the target of caspases’ action. Caspases’ activation occurs as a result of a complicated chain of biochemical reactions which are launched specifically by special receptors on the cellular membrane. Specialists call them dreadly – “receptors of death”.



Unfortunately, cancerous cells, on top of their ability for uncontrolled reproduction, also possess a striking capability for survival. As the contents of caspases’ predecessors – procaspases – and accordingly that of caspases may be reduced in the cancerous cells, induction of apoptosis in these cells is difficult. If the content could be increased, physicians would get an efficient instrument to fight this fatal disease. Solution of this problem is addressed by the joint project of Russian and American researchers from the Center for Theoretical Problems of Physicochemical Pharmacology (project manager - Mikhail Khanin, Doctor of Science (Engineering), Professor, the Lenin prize laureate) and Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA (project manager – Scott Harold Kaufmann, prominent researcher of apoptosis, Professor, Doctor of Philosophy and Medicine).

The project has been sponsored by the international foundation CRDF and the Federal Agency for Science and Innovations (Rosnauka). The researchers are planning to solve the task by a combination of mathematical modelling and biochemical methods. “Mathematical models are increasingly recognized in recent years as an efficient method for investigation of execution behaviour of complicated biochemical systems, points out Mikhail Khanin. These systems are nonlinear, and their behavior has typical properties; for example, threshold effects. All these dynamic properties can be predicted and described with the help of mathematical modelling and subsequent computer simulation.”


Apoptosis – is a cellular suicide, but the decision about it is made not only by the cell itself but also the immune system, which “gives an order” having discovered fatal injuries in a certain cell. And the cell is at constant alert to fulfill the order. This can be compared to a person who, leaving home, takes a rope and a bar of soap just in case. Thus, any cell carries the mechanism of death inside. The “receptors of death” on the cellular membrane stick out by one end, a molecule released by the immune system cells comes up to this end and forms a complex with the receptor. After that, the receptor transmits a signal inside the cell to activate caspases. This is how apoptosis is launched.

To build the mathematical model for caspases’ activation, researchers should know numerical values of all kinetic constants of apoptosis biochenical reactions. Kinetic constants determine the enzymatic reactions’ rate. The point is that only a small part of necessary kinetic constants is determined by biochemical methods. The rest can be calculated with the help of optimization mathematical models. In this case, the basic principle of physiological (and biochemical) systems’ organization – principle of optimality – helps the researchers. This means, for example, that the system spends minimal energy to perform its functions in the organism. The same is applicable to apoptosis – it is necessary to destroy proteins and the genome quickly enough and at minimal expense.

So, at first phase, the researchers need to calculate kinetic constants of reactions and then to build mathematical model of caspases’ activation dynamics, i.e., in fact, the apoptosis induction model. The model’s accuracy will be appreciated by coincidence of modelling and biochemical research results.

Having the mathematical model of apoptosis dynamics available, the researchers will be able to apply it to find the ways of apoptosis induction reinforcement in various types of malignant cells.

Sergey Komarov | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht 'Y' a protein unicorn might matter in glaucoma
23.10.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology

nachricht Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry
23.10.2017 | Rice University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry

23.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Gamma rays will reach beyond the limits of light

23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope

23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>