In the study, published online Jan. 8 in Science Express, researchers reported that Stat3, a protein previously known to control the activity of genes by acting in the cell nucleus, also plays a key role in cellular energy production.
The team examined oxygen consumption in cultured cells and hearts of mice. They discovered that when Stat 3 protein was missing, cells consumed less oxygen and produced less ATP, the key molecular form of cellular energy. The findings revealed that Stat3 is necessary for the function of the mitochondrial electron transport chain that generates ATP. Changes in energy production and expenditure are essential to maintain cellular homeostasis.
“We found evidence that Stat3 is present in the mitochondria and that it serves to control the production of ATP,” said principal investigator Andrew C. Larner, M.D., Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the VCU School of Medicine, and co-leader of the Immune Mechanisms research program at the VCU Massey Cancer Center.
“We have described a new pathway by which generation of ATP is regulated. This pathway could suggest new ways for Stat3 to be therapeutically manipulated to treat a variety of diseases where there are imbalances between energy generation and energy demands such as occurs in cancer and heart disease,” he said.
Next, the team will conduct studies to determine the downstream targets of Stat3 in the mitochondria and identify the physiological role of Stat3 that is localized to the mitochondria in heart disease and cancer.
This work was supported by grants from National Institutes of Health.
Larner worked with an international team including researchers from the VCU School of Medicine; Cleveland State University; Biogen Idec Inc., The Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, Indiana School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, and the University of Hyderabad in Hyderabad, India.
About VCU and the VCU Medical Center:
Virginia Commonwealth University is the largest university in Virginia and ranks among the top 100 universities in the country in sponsored research. Located on two downtown campuses in Richmond, VCU enrolls 32,000 students in 205 certificate and degree programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-five of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 15 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University compose the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers.
Sathya Achia Abraham | EurekAlert!
New findings help to better calculate the oceans’ contribution to climate regulation
14.11.2018 | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration
14.11.2018 | Technische Universität München
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences
14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
14.11.2018 | Life Sciences