Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Advance Understanding Of Cell Death

Date:
August 16, 2009
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
Scientists have made an important advance in understanding the biological processes involved when cells are prompted to die. The work may help scientists to eventually develop new treatments for the many common diseases and conditions which occur when cell death goes wrong.

Medical Research Council (MRC) scientists have made an important advance in understanding the biological processes involved when cells are prompted to die. The work may help scientists to eventually develop new treatments for the many common diseases and conditions which occur when cell death goes wrong.

Related Articles


The research, published in the journal Molecular Cell, was carried out by a team of scientists, at the MRC Toxicology Unit at the University of Leicester and a subsequent patent application has been filed by MRC Technology, the commercial arm of the MRC.

Cells in the human body are continually dying and most of these cells kill themselves by a form of cell death, commonly referred to as apoptosis. In a healthy body, the number of cells stays constant. Millions of new cells are produced every second, and millions of others are lost or kill themselves. Failure of the normal apoptosis process plays a role in different diseases including cancer, certain neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and immune diseases, such as autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS).

One of the study's authors, Dr Marion MacFarlane, MRC Toxicology Unit, explained: "This new research takes us a step closer to understanding how the DISC triggers cells to die. The challenge now is to try and use this fundamental knowledge to help work towards finding better treatments for conditions which occur when DISC-mediated cell death goes wrong."

Previous research has shown that a complex called the 'DISC', which is made up of different proteins and is formed following activation of molecules called 'Death Receptors', can trigger apoptosis by 'switching on' key players in the cell death process. However, previous research has found that the DISC can also activate cell survival, thus raising the question as to how paradoxically the 'DISC' can trigger these opposing cellular outcomes?

Now, scientists at the MRC Toxicology Unit have found that the DISC can trigger cell death or cell survival by switching the activity of key death-promoting molecules. Stopping the 'DISC' from functioning properly prevents the cell death programme from being carried out efficiently and instead results in cell survival. Thus, in diseases such as ALPS, where a crucial death-promoting protein is often not active the DISC fails to function properly.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Michelle A. Hughes, Nicholas Harper, Michael Butterworth, Kelvin Cain, Gerald M. Cohen, Marion MacFarlane. Reconstitution of the Death-Inducing Signalling Complex reveals a novel Substrate Switch that determines CD95-mediated Death or Survival. Molecular Cell, 2009; DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2009.06.012

Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "Scientists Advance Understanding Of Cell Death." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090813142347.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2009, August 16). Scientists Advance Understanding Of Cell Death. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090813142347.htm
University of Leicester. "Scientists Advance Understanding Of Cell Death." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090813142347.htm (accessed March 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rehab Robot Helps Restore Damaged Muscles and Nerves

Rehab Robot Helps Restore Damaged Muscles and Nerves

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 1, 2015) A rehabilitation robot prototype to help restore deteriorated nerves and muscles using electromyography and computer games. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
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