Apoptosis is an essential defense mechanism against the spread of abnormal cells such as cancer. It is a complex process that occurs through networks of proteins that interact with each other. Cancer cells usually avoid this process due to mutations in the genes that encode the relevant proteins. The result is that the cancer cells survive and take over while healthy cells die.
The research, by graduate student Chen Hener-Katz at the Hebrew University, involved collaboration between Prof. Assaf Friedler of the Hebrew University's Institute of Chemistry and Prof. Atan Gross of the Weizmann Institute's Department of Biological Regulation. It was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry under the title "Molecular Basis of the Interaction between Proapoptotic Truncated BID (tBID) Protein and Mitochondrial Carrier Homologue 2 (MTCH2) Protein."
The study examined the interaction between two important proteins involved in cell death: mitochondrial carrier homologue 2 (MTCH2), which was discovered in the lab of Prof. Gross, and truncated BID (tBID), which are both involved in the apoptotic process. The researchers found the regions in the two proteins that are responsible for binding to each other, a critical step in initiating apoptosis. Following their discovery, the researchers developed short synthetic protein fragments, or peptides, that mimicked the areas on the proteins that bind to each other, and by doing so inhibited this binding. In lab experiments conducted on cell cultures, this resulted in the death of cancer cells of human origin.
"These protein segments could be the basis of future anti-cancer therapies in cases where the mechanism of natural cell death is not working properly," said Prof. Friedler. "We have just begun to uncover the hidden potential in the interaction between these proteins. This is an important potential target for the development of anticancer drugs that will stimulate apoptosis by interfering with its regulation. "
Prof. Friedler is the head of the school of chemistry at the Hebrew University. His major research interests are using peptides to study protein-protein interactions in health and disease, and developing peptides as drug leads that modulate these interactions, specifically in relation to HIV and cancer. Prof. Friedler won the prestigious starting grant from the ERC (European Research Council) as well as the outstanding young scientist prize by the Israeli Chemical Society. His research was supported by a grant from the Israel Ministry of Health and by a starting grant from the European Research Council.
For more information:
Orit Sulitzeanu | Hebrew University
New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News