Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research Puts A 'Fas' To The Cause Of Programmed Cell Death

Date:
October 27, 2009
Source:
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Summary:
Researchers have put an end to a 10-year debate over which form of a molecular messenger called Fas ligand is responsible for killing cells during programmed cell death (also called apoptosis).

Professor Andreas Strasser's team at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia, has put an end to a 10-year debate over which form of a molecular messenger called Fas ligand is responsible for killing cells during programmed cell death.
Credit: Cameron Wells, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers have put an end to a 10-year debate over which form of a molecular messenger called Fas ligand is responsible for killing cells during programmed cell death (also called apoptosis).

Apoptosis is an important process in human biology as it removes unwanted and dangerous cells from our bodies, protecting us against cancer development and diseases where the immune system attacks the body's own tissues, such as in lupus or insulin-dependent diabetes.

This cell death process can be activated by proteins on the surface of cells. The most prominent of these cell surface proteins is Fas ligand, which exists in two forms – membrane-bound or secreted – and binds to a surface receptor called Fas. Professor Andreas Strasser, co-head of the institute's Molecular Genetics of Cancer division (with Professor Jerry Adams), has been looking to settle a decade-long scientific debate by investigating whether membrane-bound Fas ligand, secreted Fas ligand, or both, cause cell death.

"There has been a lot of debate among the scientific community over which of the forms causes cell death but also which of the forms may induce an inflammatory response," Professor Strasser said. "What we have shown is that it is the membrane-bound Fas ligand that is essential for cell death and is therefore the body's guardian against lymphadenopathy (the swelling of lymph nodes), autoimmunity and cancer."

Professor Strasser's research, done in collaboration with Dr Lorraine O'Reilly and Ms Lin Tai from the Molecular Genetics of Cancer division and Dr Lorraine Robb from the Cancer and Haematology division, has been published in the international journal Nature.

The research also demonstrated that although secreted Fas ligand does not have a role in cell killing, too much secreted Fas can promote tumour development and autoimmunity.

"In certain autoimmune conditions and types of lymphoma/leukaemia there is massive over-production of secreted Fas ligand. Since our research shows that secreted Fas is pro-inflammatory, and therefore detrimental, and since the aforementioned disease states are characterised by inflammatory tissue destruction, it may be possible to alleviate some of the manifestations of these diseases by neutralising the secreted Fas ligand with antibodies or soluble receptors," Professor Strasser said.

Now the roles of membrane-bound and secreted Fas ligand have been clearly defined, Professor Strasser's team is investigating the molecular pathways that are activated by a surplus of secreted Fas ligand and their role in autoimmune conditions and lymphomas/leukaemias.

The research was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the US Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the National Institutes of Health and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. "Research Puts A 'Fas' To The Cause Of Programmed Cell Death." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930132658.htm>.
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. (2009, October 27). Research Puts A 'Fas' To The Cause Of Programmed Cell Death. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930132658.htm
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. "Research Puts A 'Fas' To The Cause Of Programmed Cell Death." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930132658.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. 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:
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