Navigation Links
Key step in the 'puncture' mechanism of cell death revealed
Date:5/12/2008

A team of medical researchers led by Dr Ruth Kluck at Melbournes Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) has discovered a key step in the mechanism by which cells destroy themselves. In this process, called apoptosis, certain proteins cause the cell to self-destruct by puncturing its power plant. How the proteins do this has been clarified by the WEHI team. The discovery is an important step towards the identification of targets for drugs designed to regulate cell death.

Dr Kluck and her colleagues explore how cells engineer their own destruction. Properly regulated cell death is actually essential for good health. This is because our cells naturally have a limited life span. The worn out, damaged or unnecessary cells in our bodies are eliminated at the rate of one million per second and replaced by the same number of new cells for as long as we live.

If a cell fails to die when it reaches its use-by date, it may go on to multiply uncontrollably and form a cancer. Conversely, a person in whom too many cells self-destruct may develop a degenerative disease such as Alzheimers.

The cells self-destruction is driven by a protein called Bak that acts by puncturing the membrane of the mitochondria - the cells power plant. Once this power plant is wrecked, the cell is doomed.

But how does Bak do this? The crux seems to be the way Bak can bind to itself and form complexes that damage the mitochondrial membrane. Dr Kluck and colleagues have discovered that cellular distress signals cause one segment of Bak to flip out and insert neatly into a groove on another Bak molecule. The Bak doublet then forms the larger complexes that can puncture the mitochondria and provoke the cells self-destruction.

This insight into how apoptosis starts will assist in the development of drugs that can flick on the apoptosis switch to kill cancer cells more effectively. The development of drugs with the opposite effect is also important: to switch off unwarranted apoptosis in degenerative disorders.


'/>"/>

Contact: Brad Allan
allan@wehi.edu.au
61-393-452-345
Research Australia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Even Sham Acupuncture Eases Low Back Pain
2. Acupuncture does not reduce radiotherapy-induced nausea, but patients believe it does
3. Acupuncture School Gives Free Acupuncture Treatments
4. Acupuncture Cuts Need for Post-Op Painkillers
5. Acupuncture May Aid In Vitro Fertilization
6. Warning! Doctors, Insurers Hold Patients Hostage! Says Top Acupuncture Physician
7. Community Acupuncture Events Commemorate World Health Day 2008 Acupuncture Fundraiser at AOMA on Monday April 7th, 9am-4pm
8. SNAP! CRACKLE! POP! Untrained Chiropractors Doing Acupuncture!
9. Acupuncture relieves hot flushes in breast cancer patients taking tamoxifen
10. Researchers uncover novel mechanism that balances the sizes of functional areas in the brain
11. UCSD study reveals the regulatory mechanism of key enzyme
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States and the loss of ... William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have six children, ten grandchildren, ... Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and carrier pilot, he spent ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Orleans, LA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... centers in the U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location in ... will occupy the former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will present the ... Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual Symposium ... a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is presented to ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa Mohebi, the Los ... article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal section, featuring articles ... procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , Dr. Mohebi says ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, October 21, the Health & Wellness ... Moonlight to raise money for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Teams of up ... work together to keep their treadmills moving for 5 hours. Treadmills will start at ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") ... Surgical facility in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico ... and blades. ... the facility sustained minor structural damage, temporary loss of ... Repairs have been completed, manufacturing operations have resumed, and ...
(Date:10/10/2017)...   West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST), ... administration, today shared the results of a study highlighting ... intradermal administration of polio vaccines. The study results were ... 2017 by Dr. Ondrej Mach , Clinical Trials ... (WHO), and recently published in the journal Vaccine. ...
(Date:10/5/2017)...  In response to the nationwide opioid epidemic, ... (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations that urge ibuprofen – ... a first-line therapy to manage a patient,s acute ... Recognizing the value and importance of the ... Acute and Postoperative Pain Management" stresses that practitioners ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: