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:6/25/2016)... Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, ... ... to helping both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented ... for the Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, ... the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. ... toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Marne, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... To deal with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or ... Center of Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme mood ... something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was a ... children and say he was going to kill them. If we were driving on ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 ... by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of ... honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... to date financial data derived from varied research sources to ... potential impact on the market during the next five years, ... of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... and INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 ... Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the ... announced today online at www.diabetesscholars.org by the ... diabetes stand in the way of academic and community ... Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, and continues to advocate ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and ... Procedure Volumes: Global Analysis (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, ... report to their offering. ... for healthcare business planners, provides surgical procedure volume data ... trends with an in-depth analysis of growth drivers and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: