Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Mathematical Model Offers Smarter Way To Understand How Information Travels In Cells

27.03.2008
Method allows scientists to tap today’s computing power to better analyze cellular signaling pathways key in cancer and other diseases

Looking for answers in the bright light of day, rather than the confined beam of a street light at night. That’s how University of Michigan researcher Sofia Merajver, M.D., Ph.D., describes the power of a new mathematical model that could have far-reaching impact on how scientists study cellular signaling pathways.

“This has the potential to be a true paradigm shift,” says Merajver, a professor in the U-M Department of Internal Medicine and co-director of the Breast Oncology Program at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is the senior author of a study about the new model published online March 21 in the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology.

Around the world, researchers scrutinize the pathways inside cells where signals travel and activate or suppress thousands of cell functions. The researchers want to learn which cellular processes are key in causing disease conditions and how to target them with new drugs. Understanding the full complexity of signaling pathways and their interactions is critical in discovering effective treatments for cancer, inflammation and other conditions that affect millions of people.

... more about:
»Merajver »Researcher »Signaling »Target »pathway

The full description of the new model in the article immediately offers scientists the opportunity to improve current mathematical models with a superior tool that can take advantage of advances in computing power, says Merajver.

“I would hope that it may help guide us much better than our own intuition to decide what our targets are,” she says. “If we can understand these pathways better, we should be able to pick more effective targets. This is the step before screening a drug. Until now, there have been very few tools to help us choose a target.”

New model enables complex analysis
Merajver’s collaborators in the study are first author Alejandra C. Ventura, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow in the U-M Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology and Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Jacques-A. Sepulchre, a mathematical physicist at the Institut Non Lineaire de Nice at the Universite de Nice Sophia-Antipolis in Valbonne, France.

The authors developed the model and tested it using experimental data from a well-known signaling pathway involved in many disease states, the MAPK pathway. They found that this kind of signaling pathway naturally transmits information not just in a forward direction, but also backwards. That implies new considerations if drugs are to adequately address key targets.

In addition, the study will enable scientists to construct models that take into account interactions between two pathways, or “cross-talk,” Merajver says.

A specialist in inflammatory breast cancer, Merajver previously has discovered oncogenes that foster metastasis. Her lab has numerous plans to put the model to work immediately.

“We hope it will broaden our understanding on how to inhibit metastasis, since our lab studies this aspect of cancer; this work has many applications for normal and disease conditions,” she says.

Citation: http://www.ploscompbiol.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pcbi.1000041

Funding for the study came from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the U.S. Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, The Burroughs Wellcome Fund and the National Institutes of Health.

Andrew Hyde | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ploscompbiol.org

Further reports about: Merajver Researcher Signaling Target pathway

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>