Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists find way to block stress-related cell death: New drug target for heart attack, stroke and Parkinson's disease?

Date:
June 2, 2011
Source:
Scripps Research Institute
Summary:
Scientists have uncovered a potentially important new therapeutic target that could prevent stress-related cell death, a characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, as well as heart attack and stroke.

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have uncovered a potentially important new therapeutic target that could prevent stress-related cell death, a characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, as well as heart attack and stroke.

In the study, published recently in the journal ACS Chemical Biology, the scientists showed they could disrupt a specific interaction of a critical enzyme that would prevent cell death without harming other important enzyme functions.

The enzyme in question is c-jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK), pronounced "junk," which has been implicated in many processes in the body's response to stresses, such as oxidative stress, protein misfolding, and metabolic disorder. JNK also plays an important role in nerve cell survival and has become a target for drugs to treat neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

In recent studies, JNK has been found to migrate to the mitochondria -- the part of the cell that generates chemical energy and that is involved in cell growth and death. That migration, coupled with JNK activation, is associated with a number of serious health issues, including apoptosis or programmed cell death, liver damage, neuronal cell death, stroke and heart attack.

"Activated JNK migrates to the mitochondria in reaction to a stress signal," said Philip LoGrasso, professor in the Department of Molecular Therapeutics and senior director for drug discovery at Scripps Florida who led the study. "Once there, it amplifies the effects of reactive oxygen species that cause significant damage to the cell. We developed a small peptide that intervenes in JNK migration and blocks those harmful effects -- specifically cell death."

LoGrasso noted that the team was able to block JNK mitochondrial interaction without harming any other important enzyme processes, such as JNK's impact on gene expression. These findings, LoGrasso said, suggest that this interaction could be exploited in the development of a new drug.

"The peptide we developed will never be a drug, but it is an important new investigative tool that we can use to selectively probe mitochondrial biology," he said. "Our hope is to produce a small molecule that can mimic the inhibitory effect of this peptide. If we can do that, we might be able to selectively inhibit JNK mitochondrial interaction and use it to treat a number of diseases."

The study was supported by National Institutes of Health and the Saul and Theresa Esman Foundation.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Jeremy W. Chambers, Lisa Cherry, John D. Laughlin, Mariana Figuera-Losada, Philip V. LoGrasso. Selective Inhibition of Mitochondrial JNK Signaling Achieved Using Peptide Mimicry of the Sab Kinase Interacting Motif-1 (KIM1). ACS Chemical Biology, 2011; 110524104023011 DOI: 10.1021/cb200062a

Cite This Page:

Scripps Research Institute. "Scientists find way to block stress-related cell death: New drug target for heart attack, stroke and Parkinson's disease?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110602143212.htm>.
Scripps Research Institute. (2011, June 2). Scientists find way to block stress-related cell death: New drug target for heart attack, stroke and Parkinson's disease?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110602143212.htm
Scripps Research Institute. "Scientists find way to block stress-related cell death: New drug target for heart attack, stroke and Parkinson's disease?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110602143212.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. 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