Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New gene involved in autophagy -- the cellular recycling program

Date:
January 25, 2010
Source:
Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB
Summary:
All cells are equipped with a recycling program to collect and remove unnecessary cellular components. Autophagy sequesters and digests aged organelles, damaged proteins and other components, which, if not disintegrated and recycled, threaten cell viability. Researchers have identified a new gene that favours cell autophagy.

Researchers discovered the role of DOR (red) when they found it co-localizing with LC3, the common autophagosome marker. In blue, cells nuclei.
Credit: 3D simulation. A. Zorzano Lab / Copyright IRB Barcelona

All cells are equipped with a recycling program to collect and remove unnecessary cellular components. Autophagy sequesters and digests aged organelles, damaged proteins and other components, which, if not disintegrated and recycled, threaten cell viability. Researchers at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) led by Antonio Zorzano, head of the Molecular Medicine program and senior professor of the University of Barcelona, have identified a new gene that favours cell autophagy.

The article has been published in EMBO Reports.

One of the main challenges in biomedicine is to decipher the complete map of genes -and their products, the proteins -- that regulates autophagy in cells. "The interest lies in its association with human diseases," says Zorzano. There is increasing evidence of a link between autophagy and the appearance and progression of cancer, neurodegenerative pathologies, infections and aging. For example, several studies demonstrate that some neurodegenerative diseases caused by the abnormal aggregation of proteins, such as Huntington's disease, are associated with reduced autophagy. Pharmacological induction of this process could help to remove the cellular protein aggregates and to relieve the symptoms.

Caroline Mauvezin, PhD student with Zorzano and first author of the article, says that "it is possible to envisage future therapies based on the modulation of autophagy." However, further knowledge about this pathway and its components are required as well as a complete understanding of the precise role of autophagy in each disease in order to be able to manipulate it for therapeutic purposes. "We have identified a new player and now we have to study it in depth," says Mauvezin.

DOR favours autophagy

The study reveals that the DOR protein is involved in the initial, and most unknown, stages of autophagy. DOR facilitates the formation of autophagosomes, the structures that envelop, capture and transport components to lysosomes. Autophagosomes fuse to lysosomes to form autolysosomes, where several enzymes finally remove the unwanted or harmful intracellular debris.

Using in vitro cells and the fruit fly Drosophila, the researchers have demonstrated that the autophagic capacity of a cell decreases in the absence of DOR. This new gene in the autophagic pathway opens up many avenues of study, for example examining whether DOR is active or silenced in tumour cells. But the scientists are prudent with respect to the planning of future studies. "First we have to determine the precise function of DOR in the autophagic pathway in rat models in vivo, in order to determine its relevance and to identify all the proteins that it is associated with in this context," explains Zorzano.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mauvezin C, Orpinell M, Francis VA, Mansilla F, Duran J, Ribas V, Palacνn M, Boya P, Teleman AA, Zorzano A. The nuclear cofactor DOR regulates autophagy in mammalian and Drosophila cells. EMBO Reports, 2010; 11 (1): 37 DOI: 10.1038/embor.2009.242

Cite This Page:

Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB. "New gene involved in autophagy -- the cellular recycling program." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100121083119.htm>.
Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB. (2010, January 25). New gene involved in autophagy -- the cellular recycling program. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100121083119.htm
Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB. "New gene involved in autophagy -- the cellular recycling program." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100121083119.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (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

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