Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Drug Targets For Preventing Cell Death Discovered

Date:
February 29, 2008
Source:
University of California - Davis
Summary:
A new compound that blocks an early step in cell death could lead to a novel class of drugs for treating heart attacks and stroke. The researchers screened 23,000 compounds to find those that blocked mitochondrial division in yeast cells. From three "hits" they picked the one that was most effective.

A new compound that blocks an early step in cell death could lead to a novel class of drugs for treating heart attacks and stroke.

When cells are deprived of oxygen -- during a heart attack, for example -- they start to die through a tidy process called apoptosis or programmed cell death. Early in apoptosis, the mitochondria -- complex structures that supply energy to the cell -- divide into pieces, holes appear in their membranes and proteins such as cytochrome c leak out. These events trigger other processes, ending in cell death.

"Mitochondria divide like crazy during apoptosis," said Jodi Nunnari, professor of molecular and cellular biology at UC Davis and senior author on the paper.* Nunnari's lab has been studying the fundamental processes of mitochondrial division for several years.

The researchers screened 23,000 compounds to find those that blocked mitochondrial division in yeast cells. From three "hits" they picked the most effective, named mdivi-1.

They found that mdivi-1 blocks mitochondrial division dynamin, one of a class of proteins found in both yeast and mammals that can assemble itself into a spiral garrotte around the mitochondrion and cut it in two. Mdivi-1 interfered with the self-assembly of dynamin in both yeast and mammalian cells.

Mdivi-1 also blocked the process that punches holes in the mitochondrial membrane, preventing leakage of cytochrome c. The researchers found that this process could also be traced back to the effect of mdivi-1 on dynamin.

Dynamins could be a target for drugs that prevent cells from dying -- during strokes, for example, or during heart attacks or in diseases where nerve cells progressively deteriorate and die, Nunnari said. She also noted that the work would not have been possible without having first gained a fundamental understanding of how mitochondrial division works.

*The paper is published in the Feb. 11 issue of the journal Developmental Cell and was supported by grants from the NIH. The other authors on the paper are: Ann Cassidy-Stone, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis and first author on the paper; Jerry Chipuk and Douglas Green at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.; Cheng Song, graduate student at UC Davis and former graduate student Elena Ingerman; postdoctoral researcher Choong Yoo, Professor Mark Kurth and Assistant Professor Jared Shaw, all at the UC Davis chemistry department; Tomomi Kuwana, University of Iowa; and Jenny Hinshaw, National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Davis. "New Drug Targets For Preventing Cell Death Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228093230.htm>.
University of California - Davis. (2008, February 29). New Drug Targets For Preventing Cell Death Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228093230.htm
University of California - Davis. "New Drug Targets For Preventing Cell Death Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228093230.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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