SUMO Wrestling Cells Reveal New Protective Mechanism Target for Stroke
News May 20, 2013
The discovery, made by researchers from the University’s School of Biochemistry and published in the EMBO journal with additional comment in Nature Reviews, could eventually lead to new therapies for stroke and other brain diseases.
The research builds on earlier work by the team which identified a protein, known as SUMO, responsible for controlling the chemical processes which reduce or enhance protection mechanisms for nerve cells in the brain. The team’s latest work has now identified the key role that SUMO plays in promoting cell survival.
During cell stress a protein response triggers a protective mechanism that allows cell adaptation and survival. This process, known as SUMOylation, involves the attachment of a small protein called Small Ubiquitin-related Modifier (SUMO) to target proteins. This pathway is essential for survival of all plant and animal cells because it regulates how proteins interact with each other and can protect nerve cells against damage.
The findings have shown that SUMOylation of a protein called dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) is particularly important because it controls the release of chemical signals from mitochondria that instruct the cell to die in a process called apoptosis.
SUMOylation of Drp1 reduces mitochondrial release of these ‘death’ signals and helps nerve cells survive toxic insults associated with stroke. In the future, finding effective methods to enhance SUMOylation of Drp1 may also be beneficial for cell survival in other diseases including heart attacks and Alzheimer’s disease.
Cell Recycling System Offers Therapeutic Entry Point for Rare Disease TreatmentNews
Scientists have demonstrated how an investigational drug works against a rare, fatal genetic disease, Niemann-Pick type C1 (NPC1).READ MORE
Sleep Loss Drastically Affects Your Positive OutlookNews
There are many symptoms of depression -including feeling sad and no longer being able to enjoy things you typically would, but poor sleep is associated with a particularly serious sign of the condition.READ MORE
Daily Crosswords Linked to Improved Cognitive Ability in Later LifeNews
The more regularly people report doing word puzzles such as crosswords, the better their brain function in later life, a large-scale and robust online trial has found.READ MORE
Comments | 0 ADD COMMENT
EMBL Conference: European Conference of Life Science Funders and Foundations
Apr 19 - Apr 20, 2018