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Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function

to stimulate the mitochondria, which are the energy factories in the cell. Without mitochondrial activation, a key by-product of energy production, called reactive oxygen species or ROS, were not produced. And because ROS tell the cell to divide, cell proliferation is compromised.

Although Thompsons group investigated the function of Bax and Bak in T cells, the team thinks their findings will likely apply to many different cell types. When a cell receives signals to increase metabolism, it increases mitochondrial activity and energy production. That leads to the production of more energy than the cell can deal with, and consequently, the release of ROS. It is the release of reactive oxygen species by the mitochondria that actually generate the proliferation. We think that is the basis of all cell proliferation, says Thompson.


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Contact: Karen Kreeger
karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5658
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
10-Aug-2007


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