May help researchers develop cancer therapies that target one enzyme, while leaving the other alone
Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center researchers have found that two enzymes that catalyze the same reaction and produce the same product have opposite effects on cell growth and death. These findings may help researchers develop cancer therapies that target one enzyme, while leaving the other alone.
In the November issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Sarah Spiegel, Ph.D., professor and chair in the Department of Biochemistry at the VCU School of Medicine and co-leader of the Massey Cancer Center Cell Signaling program, and researchers in her lab showed that sphingosine kinases called SphK1 and SphK2, a family of enzymes that forms the potent lipid mediator sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), have opposing roles in the regulation of ceramide biosynthesis. S1P is a molecule that has been shown to promote tumor cell growth and inhibit cell death.
Sathya Achia-Abraham | EurekAlert!
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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.
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