Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein’s role in regulating cell death sets direction for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer research

08.06.2006


A protein called calpain can be the key to either preventing or promoting the cell death, a Queen’s University study has found.



“This work provides proof in principle that pharmacological inhibition of calpain may be used to block cell death in situations where this is not desirable, such as in neuronal cells of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s patients, but to promote cell death in cancer cells where this is clearly a very desirable outcome,” says lead researcher Peter Greer of two studies appearing in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC).

Dr. Greer is a Professor of Pathology and Molecular Medicine with the Cancer Biology and Genetics division of Queen’s University’s Cancer Research Institute.


“All cells in our body have the ability to trigger an intrinsic programmed cell death response. In the case of nerve cells that have been temporarily cut off from their oxygen supply because of a stroke, or damaged by amyloid deposits, this might seem like a bad thing that could contribute to neurodegenerative disease,” says Dr. Greer who produced the study with Yinfei Tan, Nathalie Dourdin, Chao Wu, Teresa De Veyra, and John S. Elce.

“On the other hand, when a cell’s chromosomes are damaged by carcinogens or ultraviolet light in a way that could initiate cancer, this same programmed cell death response could save your life.”

Supported by an operating grant from the Canadian Institute of Health Research the first study, now published online and to appear in print on June 9, showed that calpain promoted programmed cell death after cells were damaged by chemicals that disrupt the endoplasmic reticulum, which is a major synthetic structure in the cell that controls the synthesis and distribution of new proteins.

In the second study, now published in JBC online, Dr. Greer and co-investigators Yinfei Tan, Chao Wu, and Teresa De Veyra, found that calpain also inhibits programmed cell death in response to other challenges, including some chemotherapeutic drugs.

This study showed that calpain contributes to the activation of AKT and JNK, two key players in the signaling pathways that control cellular responses to different death stimuli. These discoveries suggest that calpain inhibitors might improve the ability of chemotherapeutic drugs or radiation treatment to specifically kill tumour cells in cancer patients.

Sarah Withrow | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.queensu.ca

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation
19.01.2018 | Carnegie Institution for Science

nachricht Artificial agent designs quantum experiments
19.01.2018 | Universität Innsbruck

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

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...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

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...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

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...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>