A new role for an old protein
April 8, 2016 2:14 PM   Subscribe

A newly discovered way for cells to die "Everything about this death process is different from apoptosis," he says. "It looks different under the microscope, it requires different genes, and it has different kinetics."
posted by Michele in California (9 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Link to the full article (you have to click the PDF because it's still in press, but it's open-access)
posted by en forme de poire at 2:53 PM on April 8, 2016 [3 favorites]

This is potentially big news (especially if translates to humans). Getting cells to die is what you aim for in cancer and other diseases such as AIDS (getting the HIV-infected cells to die).
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:12 PM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

The HIV thing reminds me, the problem there is actually that T cells that are not productively infected with HIV still die anyway (the rate of HIV successfully infecting T cells is actually pretty low). A group in my building published a paper a while back (I made a comment about it here) that showed that this was due to a different alternative to apoptosis called pyroptosis, and interestingly enough there's a drug that is already FDA-approved that seems to inhibit pyroptosis. Not to derail from this conversation but I thought it was interesting.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:30 PM on April 8, 2016 [5 favorites]

Scientifically, this is a neat and interesting read. Personally, at age 60mumble it's just one more way to fall apart. :(
posted by BlueHorse at 4:33 PM on April 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Ubiquitin? As the father of a daughter who changed her fine arts major to biology, I can't stand it.
posted by carping demon at 8:38 PM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hm, this article seems to be a repreinted press release and I've never heard of the journal eLife. Am I just being a snob?

Sigh, I'll add the to the other paper I want to read this weekend but probably never will because I am lazy. I should at least re-read how apoptosis works since triggering the proteosome doesn't really sound that new?
posted by maryr at 9:11 AM on April 9, 2016

(Also, duh, of course ubiquitin is used in other diseases and organism. It's called ubiquitin for a reason. It is ubiquitous.)
posted by maryr at 9:13 AM on April 9, 2016

eLife is a newer journal that's a joint venture between HHMI, the Max Planck, and the Wellcome Trust. It's pretty prestigious -- I'd put it within striking distance of PNAS/PLoS Biology.
posted by en forme de poire at 1:15 PM on April 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

My dad went to school with the discoverer of ubiquitin! One of the discoverers, anyway: Avram Hershko. He got the Nobel prize for it.

Avram Hershko, not my father. I mean, he wouldn't have got a prize just for going to school.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:50 AM on April 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

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