Study: Brain cells have death system

Mar 02, 2006
brain

Harvard Medical School scientists in Boston announced Wednesday they have identified a protein that directly regulates cell death in the brain.

The say their finding raises the possibility a reduction in the expression of that protein in vulnerable neurons may protect them from undergoing cell death in many neurological disorders, including stroke and neurodegenerative diseases.

"An understanding of neural-specific mechanisms of cell death is likely to be invaluable in the development of potential therapies for a variety of devastating neurological diseases," said Dr. Azad Bonni, a professor of pathology and the study's co-author.

Programmed cell death, or apoptosis, culls unneeded cells during development and growth and so protects an organism by triggering suicide in defective cells. Later in life, cells too quick to self-destruct may contribute to neurodegenerative diseases and immunodeficiency disorders.

The research is detailed in the March 2 issue of the journal Neuron.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Scientists seek more tombs at ancient Greek site

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists develop 3-D model of regulator protein bax

Nov 21, 2014

Scientists at Freie Universität Berlin, the University of Tubingen, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) provide a new 3D model of the protein Bax, a key regulator of cell death. When active, Bax ...

Protein-engineered cages aid studies of cell functions

Nov 19, 2014

Carbon monoxide (CO) plays an important role in cell functions, by signalling responses that counteract inflammation, and cell growth and death. As a result, researchers have been in pursuit of molecules ...

SMS alerts cut deaths caused by elephants in rural India

Nov 18, 2014

Geetha Thomas owes her life to a text message. The 38-year-old tea plantation worker was able to scramble onto the roof of her home in southern India as a herd of elephants rampaged through her village thanks ...

Recommended for you

When shareholders exacerbate their own banks' crisis

Nov 21, 2014

Banks are increasingly issuing 'CoCo' bonds to boost the levels of equity they hold. In a crisis situation, bondholders are forced to convert these bonds into a bank's equity. To date, such bonds have been ...

Trouble with your boss? Own it

Nov 21, 2014

Don't get along with your boss? Your job performance may actually improve if the two of you can come to grips with the poor relationship.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.