Research On Retinoblastoma Proteins By Michigan State University

Retinoblastoma proteins’ ability increases just before death

11:41 AM, 13th December 2012
Michigan State University Research News
Eye of fruitfly.

MICHIGAN, US: Researchers at Michigan State University have discovered a protein that does its best work with one foot in the grave. The study, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, focuses on the nontraditional lifestyle of Retinoblastoma tumor suppressor proteins, which could lead to new ways to treat cancer.

“Retinoblastoma proteins are unique in that they use controlled destruction to do their jobs in a timely but restrained fashion. This is an unusual way for proteins to act,” said Liang Zhang, Lead Author, MSU. As an organism grows, proteins essential for fueling its prosperity typically toe a tight line, performing their jobs at the right place and time. If these proteins go rogue, disasters such as cancer can result.

Retinoblastoma proteins, which could be labeled as rebellious ­ as opposed to rogue, perform acts of valor rather than destruction. And just like fireworks, they save their best work for the finale. Proteins’ lifecycles end with degradation, and like most living things they become weaker and less efficient at their jobs near the end of their lives. For Retinoblastoma proteins, however, their destruction is linked to their ability to efficiently control excessive cell growth.

Using the fruit fly Drosophila, MSU researchers isolated the specific region that controls the protein’s ability to degrade. Strikingly, this is the same region the protein uses to hit its stride and exert its full power to suppress genes related to unrestrained cell growth. Other categories of genes, such as those linked to cell death, may not be influenced by this specific region that controls degradation. This sheds light on a single mechanism that controls both living and dying at the genetic level.

Identifying this mechanism in fruit flies could be beneficial to humans. According to David Arnosti, Biochemist and Director of MSU’s Gene Expression in Disease Development initiative, MSU, noted the genetic similarities between humans and Drosophila, describing fruit flies as “resembling little people with wings.”

“By revealing the molecular details about the regulation of the fly Retinoblastoma protein, we can start to understand the possible roles of the human counterparts in cancer,” added Arnosti.

© Michigan State University News 

0 Comments

Login

Your Comments (Up to 2000 characters)
Please respect our community and the integrity of its participants. WOC reserves the right to moderate and approve your comment.

Related News


Syngenta secures 94 per cent share in Devgen

BASEL, SWITZERLAND: Syngenta announced that, upon closing of the initial acceptance period of its bid for Devgen, 94.11 per cent of the total number o ...

Read more
QAFCO to supply aqueous ammonia to Mesaieed Power Company

DOHA, QATAR: Qatar Fertiliser Company (QAFCO) will supply about 13000 tonne of aqueous ammonia annually to Mesaieed Power Company Limited (MPCL) for ...

Read more
Cytec appoints new Treasurer and Corporate Controller

WOODLAND PARK, US: Cytec Industries announced the appointment of Jeffery Fitzgerald as Treasurer and Raymond Heslin as Corporate Controller, effective ...

Read more
Sika acquires Inatec in Paraguay

ASUNCION, PARAGUAY: Sika AG has agreed to acquire 100 per cent of Inatec SRL, the market leader in Paraguay in the area of construction chemicals. Wit ...

Read more
KBR bags Cameco’s boiler upgrade project contract in Canada

HOUSTON, US: KBR was selected to execute boiler demolition and construction for Cameco Corporation’s (Cameco) Rabbit Lake boiler upgrade project ...

Read more
Shell, Technip Samsung Consortium to enhance innovative FLNG facilities

PARIS, FRANCE: Shell Gas & Power Developments BV and the Technip Samsung Consortium (TSC) have signed a heads of agreement to enhance collaboratio ...

Read more