Navigation Links
Identification of new genes shows a complex path to cell death

WORCESTER, Mass. Can a tiny winged insects salivary glands really tell us about processes relevant to human disease" Yes, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), who gained new insights into autophagya cellular degradation process associated with a form of programmed cell deathby studying the salivary gland cells of the fruit fly.

Since its initial discovery in the 1960s, programmed cell death has been a primary focus of studies for investigators across a wide array of scientific disciplines. An essential mechanism in development and homeostasis, programmed cell death allows for the clean intracellular destruction of unnecessary or damaged cells. While apoptosis is the most understood type of programmed cell death, recently scientists have begun to take a closer look at autophagy a highly regulated, catabolic process that essentially allows a cell to eat itself. Paradoxically, autophagy is not only a major mechanism by which a starving cell reallocates nutrients to ensure survival, scientists are now demonstrating that autophagy also provides cells that cannot undergo apoptosis with an alternate form of self-destruction.

In Growth arrest and autophagy are required for salivary gland cell degradation in Drosophila, published in the December 14 issue of Cell, Eric Baehrecke, PhD, UMMS Associate Professor of Cancer Biology, and colleagues examined fly salivary glands, which contain all of the machinery required to dismantle and recycle their own cellular components and thus provide a genetic model system for elucidating the complex functions of autophagy. The paper describes the cellular components required for autophagic cell death and defines multiple pathways that cooperate in the clearance of cells during fly development. Further, their findings demonstrate a critical relationship between growth and this form of cell death.

When cells keep growing, they dont die well, Dr. Baehrecke explained. We show that an arrest of growth preceded the death of these cells. If we maintain growth by turning on certain genes, we can block the death of these cells, and this has potential clinical implications. Therapies directed at apoptotic mechanisms have resulted in limited success; we hope that further studies of autophagy could lead to new approaches to the treatment of human disease.

Its becoming increasingly important to understand how the various cell death pathways connect and how they affect development, the stress response, and disease, said Marion Zatz, PhD, who oversees cell death grants at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which funded the work. While this research was done in fruit flies, findings made in model organisms are often the first step in understanding what goes on in humans. By shedding light on autophagic cell death, this work may help explain the pathways role in human diseases such as cancer, Alzheimers and Parkinsons.

The role of autophagy during cell death remains controversial but is important to our understanding and treatment of many human disorders including cancer and neurodegeneration, Baehrecke said. It is important to understand the relationship between autophagy and cell death, as the association of autophagy with cell growth, nutrient utilization, survival and death indicates that this catabolic process is relevant to the treatment of many human disorders including cancer.


Contact: Kelly Bishop
University of Massachusetts Medical School

Related medicine news :

1. Community Health Centers Reveal Specific Ramifications of The Medicaid Citizenship and Identification Documentation Requirements
2. Pathway links inflammation, angiogenesis and breast cancer
3. Traffic Fumes Plus Genes Boosts Kids Asthma Risk
4. New Database to Help Speed Search for Bipolar Disorder Genes
5. Is Perfect Pitch All in the Genes?
6. Discovery suggests location of genes for breast density, a strong risk factor for breast cancer
7. Genes Boost Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus
8. The genes involved in rheumatoid arthritis identified
9. If you think cancer genes are simple, you dont know JAK
10. Test for lung cancer looks for discomforting quiet among protective genes
11. Hushed Genes Might Mean Higher Lung Cancer Risk
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... For the first time, Vitalalert ... Organizations, One Beat ” campaign. The partnership between the two groups began in 2014 ... MAP International’s cause. , MAP International was founded in 1954 and is an international ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... On November 25, 2015, officials of Narconon Arrowhead , the drug rehabilitation ... new cutting edge recovery program that has been 50 years in the making. ... with the purpose to free addicts from the symptoms and negative behaviors of addiction. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... Smiles by Stevens is pleased to announce the addition of Botox® for ... aware of the benefits of Botox® in the treatment of moderate facial wrinkling, few ... and pain as a result of Jaw Tension, TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) disorder, and Bruxism ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... In an ongoing Clinical Study conducted by an ... IL, UV Angel is evaluating the efficacy of its product and its disinfection protocol. ... 30 beds) from May 2014 through October 2015 at a 360-bed, acute-care, academic medical ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Spring, Md (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 ... ... Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) announces the nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible ... history of this disease. The Periwinkle Pioneers, nominated by the public, will receive ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Kitov Pharma ceuticals ... a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of therapeutic ... today announced the closing of its previously announced underwritten ... ), each representing 20 ordinary shares of the Company, ... ADSs and warrants were issued in a fixed combination ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  Today AVACEN Medical announced the issue of United States patent No. ... ". This patent shields the company,s AVACEN 100 dry heat therapy medical device and specific methods ... Photo - ... ... ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 USP 800 ... drug preparations (e.g. pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses, physicians, ... technicians). The chapter also covers all entities which ... pharmacies, hospitals, other healthcare institutions, patient treatment clinics, ... --> --> What is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: