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Biological machinery of cell's 'executioner' yields secrets of its control

Date:
April 26, 2019
Source:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Summary:
Researchers by structural biologists have discovered how the cell switches on an executioner mechanism called necroptosis that induces damaged or infected cells to commit suicide to protect the body.
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Researchers led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital structural biologists have discovered how the cell switches on an executioner mechanism called necroptosis that induces damaged or infected cells to commit suicide to protect the body.

Abnormal function of necroptosis also plays a role in the pathology of a broad array of diseases. Cancer cells avoid destruction by inhibiting necroptosis; and abnormal activation of necroptosis is linked to the damage from multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and tissue injury from blood flow loss. Thus, the researchers' basic findings opens the pathways for drugs to treat those disorders by controlling necroptosis.

Led by structural biologist Tudor Moldoveanu, Ph.D., an assistant member of St. Jude Department of Structural Biology, the team included scientists from St. Jude, and the Stanford University and Vanderbilt University Schools of Medicine. The research was published today in the scientific journal Cell Chemical Biology.

Their research revealed how a set of molecules called inositol phosphates acts as an activating code, like the combination to a safe, to unleash the cell-killing mechanism of a molecule called MLKL. The activation triggers an "executioner domain" of the MLKL molecule to break down the integrity of the cell membrane and kill the cell.


Story Source:

Materials provided by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dan E. McNamara, Cole M. Dovey, Andrew T. Hale, Giovanni Quarato, Christy R. Grace, Cristina D. Guibao, Jonathan Diep, Amanda Nourse, Casey R. Cai, Hong Wu, Ravi C. Kalathur, Douglas R. Green, John D. York, Jan E. Carette, Tudor Moldoveanu. Direct Activation of Human MLKL by a Select Repertoire of Inositol Phosphate Metabolites. Cell Chemical Biology, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2019.03.010

Cite This Page:

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Biological machinery of cell's 'executioner' yields secrets of its control." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 April 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190426130057.htm>.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. (2019, April 26). Biological machinery of cell's 'executioner' yields secrets of its control. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 27, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190426130057.htm
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Biological machinery of cell's 'executioner' yields secrets of its control." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190426130057.htm (accessed February 27, 2024).

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