Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cellular mechanism that protects against disease discovered

Date:
February 21, 2010
Source:
Oregon Health & Science University
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a new mechanism within human cells that constantly protects us against disease.

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have discovered a new mechanism within human cells that constantly protects us against disease. P. Michael Conn, Ph.D., a researcher at the OHSU Oregon National Primate Research Center directed the work. The findings are reported in the Feb. 15 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Cells communicate with each other by releasing chemical signals, like hormones," explained Conn. "These chemical signals are detected and received by structures called 'receptors' which reside in the outer membranes of other cells. Sometimes environmental toxins or radiation can cause mutations in these receptors. When this happens, these mutant receptors make errors -- they may activate unexpectedly or fail to activate at all -- and this behavior results in disease."

Conn and his colleague Jody Janovick, B.S., R.Ph. a senior research associate discovered that when certain receptors, called G-protein coupled receptors, become "constitutively activated" by mutation, they are naturally detected by a mechanism in the body and targeted for destruction so they cannot cause disease.

"Unfortunately, the mechanism cannot detect all of these faulty receptors, meaning that the system is important, but not perfect," added Conn.

This discovery is important because G-protein coupled receptors are the largest class of drug-development targets used by pharmaceutical companies. This research increases understanding of how these drugs work and will lead to better understanding of basic cell mechanisms that are important for therapeutic development.

The research was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a component of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon Health & Science University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon Health & Science University. "Cellular mechanism that protects against disease discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100215174208.htm>.
Oregon Health & Science University. (2010, February 21). Cellular mechanism that protects against disease discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100215174208.htm
Oregon Health & Science University. "Cellular mechanism that protects against disease discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100215174208.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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