Non-Profit Trusted Source of Non-Commercial Health Information
The Original Voice of the American Academy of Anti-Aging, Preventative, and Regenerative Medicine
logo logo
Cancer

Cell death discovery could lead to new cancer drugs

9 years, 10 months ago

935  0
Posted on Jan 15, 2009, 6 a.m. By Rich Hurd

Researchers have discovered a small intracellular protein that plays a key role in programmed cell death, or apoptosis.

Researchers have discovered a small intracellular protein that plays a key role in programmed cell death, or apoptosis.

For many years, apoptosis was thought to be directly controlled by the nucleus and mitochondria of cells. However, a decade ago Professor Dennis Shields and colleagues found that another cell structure, the Golgi apparatus also plays an important role in the process. They found that a protein called p115, which is crucial for maintaining the structure of the Golgi, splits into two pieces during the early stages of apoptosis, and that the smaller of these protein fragments (205-amino acids in length) plays a key role in maintaining the cell-suicide process. In this study, Professor Shields and colleagues further investigated this 205- amino acid protein fragment. Their findings showed that a region of the fragment, which is just 26-amino acids long, is sufficient to trigger apoptosis. Further studies showed that the peptide fragment exerts its apoptotic action by traveling into the cell nucleus.

It is hoped that the finding will lead to the development of drugs to treat diseases, such as cancer, which are characterized by an overproduction of cells.

Mukherjee S, Shields D. Nuclear Import Is Required for the Pro-apoptotic Function of the Golgi Protein p115. J Biol Chem. 2009;284:1709-1717. doi:10.1074/jbc.M807263200

News release: Researchers Discover a Protein that Amplifies Cell Death. Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. January 14th 2009.

 

Subscribe to our Newsletter

WorldHealth Videos

WorldHealth Sponsors