Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein That Amplifies Cell Death Discovered: Potentially A New Way To Kill Cancer Cells

Date:
January 16, 2009
Source:
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Summary:
Scientists have identified a small intracellular protein that helps cells commit suicide. In response to stress or as a natural part of aging, many cells undergo programmed suicide, also known as apoptosis. Cancer cells often become immortal and dangerous by developing the ability to suppress apoptosis.

Expression of a small fragment of p115 (green) leads to Cytochrome C (red) release in cells causing cell death.
Credit: Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have identified a small intracellular protein that helps cells commit suicide. The finding could lead to drugs for combating cancer and other diseases characterized by overproduction of cells.

The research was led by the late Dennis Shields, Ph.D., a professor in Einstein's Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology for 30 years, who died unexpectedly in December.

In response to stress or as a natural part of aging, many cells undergo programmed suicide, also known as apoptosis. Cancer cells often become immortal and dangerous by developing the ability to suppress apoptosis.

A decade ago apoptosis was thought to be directed solely by the nucleus and mitochondria of cells. Dr. Shields' laboratory was the first to show that a cellular organelle known as the Golgi apparatus also plays a role in apoptosis.

The Golgi package proteins and other substances made by cells and direct them to their destination within the cell. A protein called p115 is vital for maintaining the structure of the Golgi. In earlier research, Dr. Shields' group demonstrated that the Golgi's p115 protein splits into two pieces early in apoptosis and that the smaller of these protein fragments—205 amino acids in length—helps to maintain the cell-suicide process.

In the present study, the Einstein researchers identified the smallest region of this p115 protein fragment that is required for apoptosis: a peptide of just 26 amino acids in length that exerts its apoptotic action by traveling to the nucleus.

"Dennis Shields was one of our most outstanding scientists," says E. Richard Stanley, Ph.D., chairman of developmental and molecular biology at Einstein. "His efforts to uncover fundamental mechanisms governing how cells work has led to new ways of thinking about apoptosis, in particular, how the Golgi regulates this process."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mukherjee et al. Nuclear Import Is Required for the Pro-apoptotic Function of the Golgi Protein p115. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2008; 284 (3): 1709 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M807263200

Cite This Page:

Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Protein That Amplifies Cell Death Discovered: Potentially A New Way To Kill Cancer Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090114172314.htm>.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine. (2009, January 16). Protein That Amplifies Cell Death Discovered: Potentially A New Way To Kill Cancer Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090114172314.htm
Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Protein That Amplifies Cell Death Discovered: Potentially A New Way To Kill Cancer Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090114172314.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 Video provided by AFP
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