Navigation Links
Scientists explain how 'death receptors' designed to kill our cells may make them stronger

It turns out that from the perspective of cell biology, Nietzsche may have been right after all: that which does not kill us does make us stronger. In a review article published in the June 2009 print issue of The FASEB Journal (, scientists from the Mayo Clinic explain how cell receptors (called "death receptors") used by the body to shut down old, diseased, or otherwise unwanted cells (called "apoptosis") may also be used to make cells heartier when facing a wide range of illnesses, from liver disease to cancer.

"Increasing our knowledge of how death receptors function will allow us to develop better and more effective therapies for several human diseases," said Gregory J. Gores, M.D., Chair of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and one of the scientists involved in the work.

In their article, Gores and his colleague, Maria Guicciardi, also from the Mayo Clinic, described the various molecular pathways activated by death receptors and the proteins involved in the process. Specifically, they looked at how these proteins interact with each other and how they redistribute within a cell. Death receptors are an essential tool for the immune system to eliminate cells that have been overtaken by viruses, undergone potentially harmful genetic modifications, or have become too old to function properly. Understanding the exact sequence of events that occurs after death receptors are activated, including identifying key proteins involved in the processes, may allow researchers to develop entirely new therapeutics. These therapeutics not only would give doctors the ability to choose when and if certain cells are taken out of service, but they would also give doctors the ability to trigger cells to shift into "survival mode."

"As far as names are concerned, nothing in biology sounds more intimidating than 'death receptors,'" said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Fortunately for us, when scientists look at the intricate machinery of how cells die, they dig up clues to longer, healthier lives."


Contact: Cody Mooneyhan
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Related biology news :

1. Caltech scientists reveal how neuronal activity is timed in brains memory-making circuits
2. Scientists develop a new HIV microbicide -- and a way to mass produce it in plants
3. City rats loyal to their hoods, scientists discover
4. Scientists find formula to uncover our planets past and help predict its future
5. Scientists announce top 10 new species, issue SOS
6. Scientists announce top 10 new species; issue SOS
7. Queens scientists discover eco-friendly wood dissolution
8. Stanford scientists find heat-tolerant coral reefs that may resist climate change
9. Scientists work to plug microorganisms into the energy grid
10. Scientists identify worlds largest leatherback turtle population
11. UCSB scientists document fate of huge oil slicks from seeps at coal oil point
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)...   Growing need for low-cost, easy to ... paving the way for use of biochemical sensors ... in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and defense applications. ... medical applications, however, their adoption is increasing in ... emphasis on improving product quality and growing need ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), the ... entry into the automotive market with a comprehensive and ... of consumer electronics human interface innovation. Synaptics, industry-leading touch ... the automotive industry and will be implemented in numerous ... , Japan , and ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, a ... that it has released a new version of its ... in North America have already ... v4.0 also includes a FIDO UAF certified server ... already preparing to activate FIDO features. These customers include ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) ... remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or 1,100,000 pre-share consolidation) ... B Warrants") subject to the previously disclosed November ... 2015, which will result in the issuance of ... the issuance of such shares, there will be ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... InSphero AG, the leading supplier of easy-to-use solutions for ... Aregger to serve as Chief Operating Officer. , Having joined InSphero in ... and was promoted to Head of InSphero Diagnostics in 2014. There she ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... LOS ANGELES , Nov. 24, 2015 ... a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and ... Marban , Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, is scheduled to ... December 1, 2015 at 10:50 a.m. EST, at The ... York City . . ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... and NEW YORK , November 24, 2015 ... by Bristol-Myers Squibb in a European ... Squibb Company in which the companies will work closely ... and other areas of unmet medical need. The collaboration is ... 5, the latest LSP fund. This is the first investment ...
Breaking Biology Technology: