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)... ... , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent ... Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce ... Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson ... Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. ... the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches ... success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in ... than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex set ... drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and suffering, ... traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from depression, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out ... family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers ... would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on ... today announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing ... Duchenne) has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. ... in the third quarter of 2016, and to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 ... Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the future is ... online at www.diabetesscholars.org by the Diabetes Scholars ... in the way of academic and community service excellence. ... program since 2012, and continues to advocate for people ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... MEDIA, Pa. , June 23, 2016 ... treatments in an outpatient dialysis facility.  Treatments are usually ... to 6 hours per visit, including travel time, equipment ... on a patient, but especially grueling for patients who ... residents of a skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers for ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: