HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Key cell-death step found

A fundamental cellular event related to programmed cell death has been decoded by cell biologists at UC Davis and Johns Hopkins University. The work could provide insights on two devastating inherited diseases.

In healthy cells, mitochondria (tiny energy substations that churn out each cell's power supply) continually fuse together and split in two. When mitochondrial fusion goes awry, cells are targeted for programmed cell death, or apoptosis.

Apoptosis is a normal process in healthy individuals, but if mitochondrial fusion doesn't work, the wrong cells die, causing disease. This is what happens in two neurodegenerative diseases: dominant optic atrophy, the most common inherited cause of blindness, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which reduces sensation in the feet, lower legs and hands. Both diseases kill nerve cells.

Until recently, scientists knew these diseases were triggered by a problem with mitochondrial fusion, but didn't understand fusion itself, says Jodi Nunnari, a UC Davis professor of molecular and cellular biology.

Mitochondrial fusion was tricky to understand because mitochondria are structurally complex, Nunnari said. A mitochondrion looks a bit like an orange -- an outer membrane, analogous to the orange peel, contains it, while a different type of membrane on the inside facilitates the mitochondria's functions. Scientists wondered how two mitochondria could join without mixing up the distinct membranes.

Nunnari's team devised ways to get stop-action views of fusion and follow the process in isolated mitochondria. They saw two distinct stages. First, outer membranes joined, creating an intermediate structure with one outer membrane holding two sets of inner membranes. Then, the inner membranes fused. The researchers also were able to investigate some of the biochemical requirements for the process.

The work is published in the Sept. 17 issue of Science.


'"/>

Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis
21-Sep-2004


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. New signs of life found at the Poles
2. European common frog found to use novel mating strategy
3. Byproduct of water-disinfection process found to be highly toxic
4. Genuine stem cells found in skin might treat hair loss, wounds
5. Flame retardants found on supermarket shelves
6. Anti-cancer compound in vegetables found to block late-stage breast-cancer cell growth
7. Genetic clues found for common congenital brain disorder
8. New clues to hereditary blinding disease found
9. Anti-bacterial additive found in Maryland streams
10. Genetic mutation linked to more aggressive breast cancer found more often in African-Americans
11. More aggressive breast cancer tumors found in African American women

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/13/2017)... 2017 According to a new market research report ... Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and Region ... expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD 31.75 ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, Card-Based ... & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / Energy ... Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality & ... for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access Control ... ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... WASHINGTON , April 3, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... single-cell precision engineering platform, detected a statistically ... cell product prior to treatment and objective ... highlight the potential to predict whether cancer ... prior to treatment, as well as to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first commercially available Hi-C ... software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own facilities, supplementing the ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... Boston, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... October 06, 2017 ... ... spotlight female entrepreneurship within the healthcare and technology sector at their fourth annual ... six panels featuring 30 inspiring speakers and the ELEVATE pitch competition showcasing early ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... ... , ... LabRoots , the leading provider of educational and interactive virtual ... to cancer research with a month-long promotion supporting the advancement of breast cancer research ... use promo code PinkRibbon to get 10 percent off their purchase of every the ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... ... October 05, 2017 , ... ... new applications of its Nanobind DNA/RNA extraction technology . Nanobind is a ... on the surface and that can be used for a wide variety of ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: