Navigation Links
Discovery of the cell's water gate may lead to new cancer drugs

The flow of water into and out from the cell may play a crucial role in several types of cancer. Scientists at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have now found the gate that regulates the flow of water into yeast cells. The discovery, which will be published in the journal PLoS Biology, raises hopes of developing a drug that inhibits the spread and growth of tumours.

All living organisms must be able to regulate the flow of water into and out from cells, in order to maintain cell form and size. This regulation is carried out by special proteins known as "aquaporins". These act as water channels and control the flow of water into and out from the cell.

Involved in cancer diseases

Aquaporins are found in most organisms, and are believed to be involved in several diseases, including cancer. Research on mice has shown that inhibiting the function of aquaporins can dramatically reduce the spread and growth of tumours.

Important for research

It is therefore extremely important for cancer research to increase our knowledge of aquaporins. Scientists at the University of Gothenburg have recently achieved a minor breakthrough in the field. Karin Lindkvist at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology and Richard Neutze at the Department of Chemistry, University of Gothenburg have determined the three-dimensional structure of the yeast aquaporin. The results will be published in the journal PLoS Biology.

Highest resolution

The structure has been determined using X-ray crystallography and is the highest resolution structure that has been determined for a membrane protein. The unique high resolution has enabled the scientists to answer one of the unsolved mysteries of biology. The aquaporins in yeast have long "tails", known as amino-terminal extensions. The function of these tails has, until now, been unknown.

"Our study shows that the amino-terminal extensions in yeast act as a gate that can be opened and closed depending on how much water the cell must release or absorb. Computer simulations and biological experiments suggest that the channel is regulated with a combination of mechanical regulation and phosphorylation", says Karin Lindkvist.

Similar to human

Yeast cells are similar to human cells in many respects, and Karin Lindkvist's research can have applications in cancer research and other fields.

"The structure of the yeast aquaporin that we have determined can be used to create inhibitors for human aquaporins, and this may in the long term lead to drugs that slow the growth of a cancer tumour", says Karin Lindkvist.


Contact: Krister Svahn
University of Gothenburg

Related biology news :

1. Discovery may help defang viruses
2. Stomach stem cell discovery could bring cancer insights
3. Symposium marks 30th anniversary of discovery of third domain of life
4. Emory paleontologist reports discovery of carnivorous dinosaur tracks in Australia
5. Natural product discovery by Cleveland medical researchers blocks tissue destruction
6. Researchers discovery may lead to hypertension treatment
7. Yale discovery suggests protein may play a role in severe asthma
8. Galapagos and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics announce drug discovery collaboration
9. Profound immune system discovery opens door to halting destruction of lupus
10. Scripps Research discovery leads to broad potential applications in CovX-Pfizer deal
11. New discovery could reduce the health risk of high-fat foods
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Discovery of the cell's water gate may lead to new cancer drugs
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Connected health pioneer, Joseph ... explosion of technology-enabled health and wellness, and the business ... The Internet of Healthy Things . ... smartphones even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, ... care delivery, moving care from the hospital or doctor,s ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... 2015 In the present market scenario, security ... various industry verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, electronic ... demand for secure & simplified access control and growing ... hacking of bank accounts, misuse of users, , and ... PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are expected to provide potential ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... , October 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... --> adds Biometrics ... to 2021 as well as Emerging ... research reports to its collection of ... . --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... and HOLLISTON, Mass. , Nov. 25, ... HART ), a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ ... Jim McGorry will present at the LD Micro ... at 2:30 p.m. PT. The presentation will be webcast ... days. Management will also be available at the conference ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... PORTLAND, Oregon , November 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... Deep Market Research Report is a professional and ... Genomics industry.      (Logo: ... basic overview of the industry including definitions, classifications, ... analysis is provided for the international markets including ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO ) will be presenting at ... on Wednesday, December 2 at 9:30 a.m. ET/6:30 a.m. PT ... provide a corporate overview. th Annual Oppenheimer Healthcare ... ET/10:00 a.m. PT . Jim Mazzola , vice president ... --> th Annual Oppenheimer Healthcare Conference in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)...  Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research services ... that the company has set a new quarterly earnings record in ... growth posted for Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015.   ... , with the establishment of an Asia-Pacific ... United Kingdom and Mexico , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: