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:5/27/2017)... Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... ... Canadian senior citizens who visit a doctor for colds or respiratory issues that are ... note that excessive time pressure on doctors may be largely responsible for the problem ...
(Date:5/27/2017)... Rosa, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2017 , ... ... cause for concern, but a new study from the Osteoarthritis Initiative shows ... to developing knee osteoarthritis. Knowing this in advance may give doctors the opportunity to ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... Fairfax, VA (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 ... ... is pleased to announce a new educational seminar to focus on current legislative ... Regulatory News(LEARN) seminar will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, and will ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 26, 2017 , ... Boar’s Head Brand®, one of the ... Day entertaining that are sure to satisfy your guests’ flavor cravings, while adding ... cheeses featured in these refreshingly balanced recipes are packed with flavor, creating the ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House ... focusing on the Peace Agreements being discussed by President Donald Trump and the rest ... to try to speed up peace talks in the continuous battle between Israel and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/8/2017)... May 8, 2017  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO)., ... ("WRB"), a health care service center company based ... WRB specializes in relationship management programs for leading pharmaceutical ... WRB will join Envoy Health ... services for manufacturers, biotech firms, and other service companies. ...
(Date:5/4/2017)... Tenn. , May 4, 2017  A ... Infection Control, Ultraviolet-C light as a ... Tru-D SmartUVC,s ability to reduce bioburden on anesthesia ... bioburden reduction on high-touch, complex medical equipment surfaces ... surgical infections. "This study further validates ...
(Date:5/4/2017)...   BioLife Solutions , Inc. (NASDAQ: ... proprietary clinical grade hypothermic storage and ... announced that the Company,s first quarter 2017 financial results ... 11, 2017, and that the Company will host a ... that afternoon. Management will provide an overview of the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: