Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cells’ Ability to Live Without Oxygen Give Clues for Treating Major Diseases

08.09.2003


Some cells in the kidney can not only survive without sufficient oxygen, but actually begin stretching and multiplying to make up for their fallen brethren, says a Medical College of Georgia researcher.




Some cancer cells similarly adapt; as a tumor grows too big for its blood and oxygen supply, some cells transform so they can survive without oxygen, emerging stronger and treatment resistant, says Dr. Zheng Dong, cell biologist.

He doubts that these two very different cell types travel the identical road to survival. “But the final result is the same,” he says. “They simply become stronger, tougher and more resistant to injury, and for those in tumors, more resistant to cancer therapies.”


The researcher, whose latest findings are featured in recent issues of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and American Journal of Pathology, is tracing the steps each takes, ultimately to see whether cells that would be lost to stroke and heart attack can be made equally durable -- and, possibly, whether cancer cells can be made vulnerable.

“We want to define the signaling pathways for cell injury and death. We want to know how these cells are killed,” he says. “Our other focus is cellular adaptation to stress, basically why other cells can survive. We want to define the molecular alterations at the level of gene expression,” which he believes are key to survival and proliferation.

He has found at least two key pieces to survival in the tubular cells of the kidney. Tubular cells are the most common cells in the kidney, comprising the extensive channels through which body’s entire fluid volume flows many times each day so that needed substances can be absorbed and excess fluid and waste excreted in the urine. The cells are durable, busy and, likely because of their high activity, have a high oxygen demand.

Yet when the oxygen supply is lost or diminished, as it can be in cardiovascular disease and diabetes, Dr. Dong has found that some tubular cells seem to adapt by up-regulating two genes, IAP-2 and Bcl-xL. When he knocks down the genes, the cell’s sensitivity to injury returns.

“This response, I believe, provides a mechanism for those cells to survive ischemic stress and gives them a chance to repair the injured kidney,” says Dr. Dong, whose discovery of the role of these death-inhibitory genes has won him numerous awards in the past three years including the Lyndon Baines Johnson Research Award from the American Heart Association, Texas Affiliate; the Patricia W. Robinson Young Investigator Award from the National Kidney Foundation; and the Carl W. Gottschalk Scholar Award from the American Society of Nephrology.

His latest finding helps explain why other cells are lost, detailing how in an oxygen-deprived state, a little-understood protein called Bax found in the fluid portion of a cell moves into the cell’s powerhouse, or mitochondria, where it forms holes in the walls. Contained, the contents of the mitochondria give the cell energy; uncontained, they cause cell death, or apoptosis.

“We are focusing on the kidney, but our studies are applicable to heart attack and stroke and possibly cancer as well,” says Dr. Dong, who believes his work will ultimately lead to gene therapy where the survival genes could be up-regulated in troubled cells and down-regulated in cells, such as cancer cells, that need to die.

“Why are some cells so durable and others so vulnerable?” he says. “Hopefully we can identify some therapeutic tool that is either genetic or pharmaceutical to switch these as needed. We want to keep kidney cells strong enough to be resistant to ischemia and hopefully we can identify a few more things in cancer cells that make them more vulnerable.”

Dr. Dong’s work is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the American Society of Nephrology and the National Kidney Foundation.

Toni Baker | Medical College of Georgia
Further information:
http://www.mcg.edu/news/2003NewsRel/dong.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>