HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Small, Smac-like molecule encourages death of cancer cells

DALLAS Sept. 2, 2004 Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have developed a small molecule that mimics the action of a key "death-promoting" protein in cells, a finding that could lead to more effective cancer therapies with fewer side effects.

In the Sept. 3 issue of the journal Science, the researchers report on this new compound and how it behaves like the cellular protein Smac, a molecule that lifts barriers to cell death. Dr. Xiaodong Wang, professor of biochemistry and one of the authors of the Science paper, discovered Smac in 2000.

"Every cell in our body has a self-destruction apparatus that becomes activated when a cell needs to be terminated," Dr. Wang said. "The Smac protein is one component of this normal cell-suicide process, called apoptosis."

Apoptosis, for example, is required for the removal of webbing between the toes and fingers of a developing fetus, as well as for the elimination of surplus neurons during the development of the human brain.

In healthy cells, Smac is sequestered within cell compartments called mitochondria, where the protein resides until mitochondria receive signals to release it. Smac then interacts with other molecules called inhibitor-of-apoptosis proteins (IAPs), which, if not countered by Smac, will keep the cell alive and growing.

In cancer cells, IAPs tend to be overexpressed, and the signals that tell mitochondria to release Smac are often defective. That's why the UT Southwestern-developed Smac mimic, which can enter the cytoplasm of cells unhindered, is an important step in developing new cancer therapies, said Dr. Patrick Harran, associate professor of biochemistry and an author of the study.

The compound, which so far has only been tested on cells in culture, does not appear to harm normal cells, just cancer cells, said Dr. Wang, who is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and holds the George L. MacGregor Distinguished Chair in Biomedical
'"/>

Contact: Amanda Siegfried
Amanda.siegfried@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
2-Sep-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Small, cold, & hungry: Ultra-small microbes from 120,000-year-old glacier ice sample
2. Small, slow growing urchin variety could affect commercial harvest
3. Small, mountain rivers play big role in ocean sediment
4. Tiny molecules have big potential as cancer drugs, Stanford researcher believes
5. Synthesized molecules studied as weapon to stop cell division in cancer cells
6. Scientists reinvent DNA as template to produce organic molecules
7. Sweet success in targeting sugar molecules to cells in living animals
8. Emory researchers map structure of anti-cancer molecule
9. UC Riverside researcher takes snapshots of the movement of molecules in a billionth of a second
10. Scientists pinpoint molecules that generate synapses
11. Basic RNA enzyme research promises single-molecule biosensors

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


(Date:11/6/2019)... , ... November 06, 2019 , ... ... a new podcast to provide information to patients about a poorly disclosed deficiency ... are given without knowing the dose of the treating stem cells. This ...
(Date:11/2/2019)... , ... November 01, 2019 , ... Stay on top ... and medical device industries. Access to all webinars is free, so be sure to ... your field! , Visit http://www.xtalks.com to see our upcoming webinars: , CLINICAL ...
(Date:10/30/2019)... ... October 30, 2019 , ... ... that are encoded by the ordering of monomer residues into specific sequences ... the sidechain attachment to the backbone amide-nitrogen atoms. They are resistant to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/29/2019)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... October 28, 2019 , ... ... Advisory Board: , , Professor Jack R Wands, MD, of ... and Wyeth (Pfizer) , Professor Gil Mor, MD, PhD, of Wayne State ...
(Date:10/26/2019)... ... October 24, 2019 , ... Sparks Marketing ... Group (BMMG), a boutique healthcare-specific marketing firm, to strengthen the agency’s growing ... Strategy Division. , Healthcare clients in pharma, bio-therapeutics, medical device and healthcare technologies ...
(Date:10/22/2019)... ... 22, 2019 , ... Enplug , a leading cloud-based ... into its digital signage platform. The collaboration brings one of the most trusted ... to leverage their existing digital signage networks to quickly disseminate critical safety information ...
(Date:10/17/2019)... ... October 16, 2019 , ... ... web-based genetic counseling information, has published a new white paper that explores how ... provides guidance as to how patients and medical providers can be kept informed ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: