Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have identified a small intracellular protein that helps cells commit suicide. The finding, reported as the “paper of the week” in the January 16th print issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, could lead to drugs for combating cancer and other diseases characterized by overproduction of cells. The research was led by the late Dennis Shields, Ph.D., a professor in Einstein’s Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology for 30 years, who died unexpectedly in December.
In response to stress or as a natural part of aging, many cells undergo programmed suicide, also known as apoptosis. Cancer cells often become immortal and dangerous by developing the ability to suppress apoptosis.
A decade ago apoptosis was thought to be directed solely by the nucleus and mitochondria of cells. Dr. Shields’ laboratory was the first to show that a cellular organelle known as the Golgi apparatus also plays a role in apoptosis.
The Golgi package proteins and other substances made by cells and direct them to their destination within the cell. A protein called p115 is vital for maintaining the structure of the Golgi. In earlier research, Dr. Shields’ group demonstrated that the Golgi’s p115 protein splits into two pieces early in apoptosis and that the smaller of these protein fragments—205 amino acids in length—helps to maintain the cell-suicide process.
In the present study, the Einstein researchers identified the smallest region of this p115 protein fragment that is required for apoptosis: a peptide of just 26 amino acids in length that exerts its apoptotic action by traveling to the nucleus.
“Dennis Shields was one of our most outstanding scientists,” says E. Richard Stanley, Ph.D., chairman of developmental and molecular biology at Einstein. “His efforts to uncover fundamental mechanisms governing how cells work has led to new ways of thinking about apoptosis, in particular, how the Golgi regulates this process.”
The paper, by Shaeri Mukherjee and Dennis Shields, is titled “Nuclear Import is Required for the Pro-apoptotic Function of the Golgi Protein p115” and appeared in JBC Papers in Press on November 21, 2008 and in the January 16, 2009 print issue. Additionally, the journal chose the image from the paper for the cover and spotlighted the study’s first author, Shaeri Mukherjee, Ph.D., a former student in the laboratory of Dr. Shields.About Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
Michael Heller | Newswise Science News
More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy