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Death-defying Approach Devised By Penn Scientists To Prevent Cell Apoptosis

Date:
January 30, 2004
Source:
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the University of Iowa have identified a biochemical strategy to block reactive oxygen species -- which effectively prevents cellular damage and death.
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Philadelphia, PA - When recovering from a heart attack or stroke, the body must restore blood flow in order to resupply cells with oxygen. Ironically, the process of reoxygenation - so necessary for full recovery - also generates reactive oxygen species (ROS), molecules that induce apoptosis, or cellular death. Now, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the University of Iowa have identified a biochemical strategy to block ROS - which effectively prevents cellular damage and death. Their study is published in February's Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences.

"We've known that oxidation can induce apoptosis," said Toshinori Hoshi, PhD, Associate Professor in Penn's Department of Physiology. "We also knew that the enzyme methionine sulfoxide reductase type A - or MSRA - is a catalyst in reversing the oxidation of the amino acid methionine, an important building block of proteins."

After using gene-transfer technology to insert extra MRSA into cells, the researchers noticed that the enzyme-packed cells were now protected from the damaging effects of ROS. "Not only were cells protected by an overproduction of MRSA, but our tests showed that the adverse oxidation process was reversed," explains Hoshi.

"Oxidative stress is thought to be associated with many medical conditions, such as diseases related to aging and the heart," continues Hoshi. "Given our findings, it may be possible to prevent such stress, and thereby treat disease, by boosting the amount of MSRA in the body so its protein-repair properties are unleashed."

This research is funded by the National Institutes of Health.


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


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University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. "Death-defying Approach Devised By Penn Scientists To Prevent Cell Apoptosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040130075914.htm>.
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. (2004, January 30). Death-defying Approach Devised By Penn Scientists To Prevent Cell Apoptosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040130075914.htm
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. "Death-defying Approach Devised By Penn Scientists To Prevent Cell Apoptosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040130075914.htm (accessed May 26, 2015).

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