Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UT Southwestern Researchers Discover Protein That Promotes Cell Death

Date:
September 18, 2000
Source:
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas
Summary:
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have discovered that the protein SMAC may lead to the development of drugs that eliminate cancerous cells. The protein, second mitochondria-derived activator of caspases, promotes apoptosis, or cell death.

DALLAS - Sept. 11, 2000 - Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have discovered that the protein SMAC may lead to the development of drugs that eliminate cancerous cells. The protein, second mitochondria-derived activator of caspases, promotes apoptosis, or cell death.

Related Articles


The results of the study appeared in the Aug. 24 issue of Nature.

Dr. Chunying Du, Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellow, Dr. Xiaodong Wang, associate professor of biochemistry, and their colleagues previously identified the protein by purifying it from large cultures of human cells. The researchers noticed activity promoting the cell-death process and discovered the protein located in the mitochondria of the cell. The findings of this research appeared in the July 7 issue of Cell.

In their most recent study published in Nature, the researchers found that SMAC appears to be the "master regulator" of apoptosis in mammals and is ultimately responsible for cell death.

"It's a new protein that has never been found before," Wang said. "We know how it works, its structure, and we know what part of the protein is doing the job of apoptosis.

"The exciting part of this study is that out of the more than 200 amino acids found in the protein, only seven are necessary to induce cell death. It's very unusual to have such a very small part of the protein that can carry out the function of apoptosis. This makes it possible for us to design drugs based on the seven amino acids that will promote cell death in cancerous cells."

A large presence of inhibitors of apoptosis (IAPs), a class of proteins, may contribute to the resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapy, Du said. SMAC may weaken the cancerous cells to chemotherapy, she said.

The long-term goal of the researchers is to replicate the protein and develop a drug that will kill cancerous cells.

Researchers at Princeton University assisted in identifying the actual structure of the protein.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health and the Robert Welch Foundation funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "UT Southwestern Researchers Discover Protein That Promotes Cell Death." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 September 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000913210804.htm>.
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. (2000, September 18). UT Southwestern Researchers Discover Protein That Promotes Cell Death. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000913210804.htm
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "UT Southwestern Researchers Discover Protein That Promotes Cell Death." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000913210804.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins