Navigation Links
Researchers identify how zinc regulates a key enzyme involved in cell death
Date:4/2/2014

The molecular details of how zinc, an essential trace element of human metabolism, interacts with the enzyme caspase-3, which is central to apoptosis or cell death, have been elucidated in a new study led by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University. The study is featured on the cover of the April issue of the journal Angewandte Chemie's International Edition.

Dysregulation of apoptosis is implicated in cancer and neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer's disease. Zinc is known to affect the process by inhibiting the activity of caspases, which are important drug targets for the treatment of the above conditions. The findings may help researchers design therapeutic agents that target zinc-caspase interaction to specifically control the activity of caspases, and hence, apoptosis.

"The work is unique in helping to open up a broad new area of research which we call the bioinorganic chemistry of apoptosis understanding the role of essential metal ions in one of life's fundamental processes," said corresponding author Nicholas P. Farrell, Ph.D., member of the Developmental Therapeutics program at VCU Massey Cancer Center and professor of chemistry in the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences.

"Indeed, the zinc inhibition of apoptosis in fact contrasts with the role of its closely related neighbor copper, which is understood to enhance apoptosis," he said.

In the study, Farrell and his research team, A. Gerard Daniel, Ph.D., and Erica J. Peterson, used conventional enzymology and biophysical techniques combined with state-of-the-art computational methods, to show evidence for a hitherto unrecognized interaction site with caspase-3.

According to Farrell, caspases were discovered in the mid-1990s. There are 11 caspases known humans, and seven of these are involved in cell death. The study suggests a regulatory zinc site that may be common to all caspases. Previous findings have shown other zinc binding sites in caspase-6 and -9. Now, Farrell said, the generality of the team's observations must be extended and verified in other caspases.

"The [journal] cover epitomizes the contrasting but interdependent roles of the metal ions copper/zinc in the regulation of apoptosis and perfectly captures the duality of this most fundamental of biological processes," Farrell said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sathya Achia Abraham
sbachia@vcu.edu
804-828-1231
Virginia Commonwealth University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
2. UC Santa Barbara researchers discover genetic link between visual pathways of hydras and humans
3. Researchers attempt to solve problems of antibiotic resistance and bee deaths in one
4. UNH researchers find African farmers need better climate change data to improve farming practices
5. Ottawa researchers to lead world-first clinical trial of stem cell therapy for septic shock
6. Researchers uncover molecular pathway through which common yeast becomes fungal pathogen
7. Researchers print live cells with a standard inkjet printer
8. Columbia Engineering and Penn researchers increase speed of single-molecule measurements
9. Researchers reveal how a single gene mutation leads to uncontrolled obesity
10. Researchers discover novel therapy for Crohns disease
11. New paper by Notre Dame researchers describes method for cleaning up nuclear waste
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/9/2017)... -- The biomass boiler market report by Transparency Market ... globally in terms of revenue (US$ Mn) based on ... biomass boilers has been segmented on the basis of ... market based on feedstock type, has been segmented into ... crops, urban residues, and others. On the basis of ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... Feb. 7, 2017 Report Highlights ... 2021 from $8.3 billion in 2016 at a compound ... 2021. Report Includes - An overview of the ... trends, with data from 2015 and 2016, and projections ... Segmentation of the market on the basis of product ...
(Date:2/3/2017)...  Texas Biomedical Research Institute announced that its Board of ... as the Institute,s new President and CEO. Dr. Schlesinger will ... He is currently the Chair of the Department of Microbial ... Interface Biology at Ohio State University. "We are ... CEO of Texas Biomed," said Dr. James O. Rubin ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... BEIJING, Feb. 23, 2017 China Biologic Products, Inc. ... integrated plasma-based biopharmaceutical company in China, today announced its financial ... Fourth Quarter 2016 Financial Highlights ... increased by 21.7% in RMB terms, or increased by 13.6% ... the same quarter of 2015. Gross profit ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Feb. 23, 2017 ... except per share data, unaudited)Three Months Ended December 31,Twelve ... Revenue $       ... 1,117$   89026%Aldurazyme Net Product Revenue ... 906538%34823946%Naglazyme Net Product Revenue  756025%297303(2)%Vimizim ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  In Atlanta, it seems ... fashion, and culture intertwine to create an expressive and dynamic ... reflect this energy and contribute to it. ... Hair Fairies seeks to carry on that tradition ... Atlanta salon is the newest of ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Baltimore, Maryland (PRWEB) , ... ... ... firm, PathSensors, Inc., announced today that in a published evaluation of multiple ... (PNNL), a U.S. Department of Energy Laboratory, PathSensors’ CANARY® biosensor threat detection ...
Breaking Biology Technology: