Tag: Protein Function

Image of red algae and Roland Kersten on Ventura beach

A new workflow for natural product characterization comes ashore with red algae

October 30, 2017

Whitehead Member Jing-Ke Weng uses an omics-based path for identifying and generating sesquiterpene-based therapeutics at scale.

Image of a breast cancer cell

Stuck on the membrane: A pro-metastatic transcription factor’s journey from anonymity to a promising target for breast cancer therapy

October 20, 2017

Whitehead Member Piyush Gupta has identified a protein stuck in the cell membrane that plays an important role in a cellular pathway crucial for cancer metastasis. The protein is a potential new target for breast cancer therapy that targets the cancer cells' metastatic behavior. 

Illustration of scientist measuring a cell on a scale

Study reveals key molecular link in major cell growth pathway

October 19, 2017

A team of scientists led by Whitehead Institute has uncovered a surprising molecular link that connects how cells regulate growth with how they sense and make available the nutrients required for growth.  The researchers’ findings also implicate a new protein, SLC38A9, as a potential drug target in pancreatic cancer. 

Slide of red blood cells

Mystery solved: how thyroid hormone prods red blood cell production

September 5, 2017

For more than a century, the link between thyroid hormone and red blood cell production has remained elusive. Now, Whitehead scientists have teased about the mechanism that connects them, which could help scientists identify new therapies for specific types of anemia.

Diagram of how the control of the translation of mRNAs into proteins shifts as the egg becomes an the embryo

Elegant switch controls translation in transition from egg to embryo

June 14, 2017

The transition from an egg to a developing embryo is one of life’s most remarkable transformations. Now Whitehead Institute researchers have used fruit flies to decipher how one aspect—control of the translation of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) into proteins—shifts as the egg becomes an the embryo.  This type of switch could tell scientists more about how human cells work and embryos develop.

Rohgerry Deshycka, Harvey Lodish, Nova Pishesha

Undergraduate in Lodish lab doubly awarded for “outstanding” research

May 25, 2017

Rhogerry “Gerry” Deshycka, a graduating senior working in the lab of Whitehead Institute Founding Member Harvey Lodish, has received one of MIT’s two Randolph G. Wei Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) awards for 2017 and MIT’s 2017 John L. Asinari Award

Whitehead Member David Sabatini

Whitehead Member David Sabatini awarded Foundation for the NIH Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences

April 4, 2017

Prize bestowed for discovery of the mTOR pathway’s impact on age-related diseases

Researchers uncover a role for HSP90 in gene-environment interactions in humans

February 23, 2017

Researchers at Whitehead Institute have now uncovered a role for the protein-folding chaperone HSP90 in humans, not only as a modifier of the effects of mutations, but as a mediator of the impact of the environment on the function of mutant proteins. And these effects of HSP90 can alter the course of human diseases.

Images of yeast containing prion-like proteins and controls

Revising the meaning of “prion”

October 6, 2016

Prions are infamous for causing Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, fatal familial insomnia, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow’s disease. Yet, it’s not likely that’s all they’re good for. Using an unbiased screen in yeast, a team of Whitehead Institute and Stanford University scientists have identified dozens of prion-like proteins that could change the defining characteristics of these unusual proteins. 

Images of toxoplasma parasites inside of a host cell

Genome-wide Toxoplasma screen reveals mechanisms of parasitic infections

September 1, 2016

Whitehead Institute researchers have conducted the first genome-wide screen in Apicomplexa, a phylum of single-celled parasites that cause diseases such as malaria and toxoplasmosis. The screen sheds light into the vast, unstudied reaches of parasite genomes, uncovering for instance a protein common to all apicomplexans.

Microscope images of mitochondria

Novel method enables absolute quantification of mitochondrial metabolites

August 31, 2016

Whitehead Institute scientists have developed a method to quickly isolate mitochondria from mammalian cells and systematically measure the concentrations of mitochondrial metabolites. Mitochondrial dysfunction is found in several disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and mitochondrial diseases. Until now, peering into the inner metabolic workings of these vital organelles has been very challenging.

Three images of human lung cells were infected with influenza A virus.

Tiny alpaca-derived antibodies point to targets preventing viral infection

June 20, 2016

Using tiny, alpaca-derived, single-domain antibody fragments, Whitehead Institute scientists have developed a method to perturb cellular processes in mammalian cells, allowing them to tease apart the roles that individual proteins play in these pathways. With improved knowledge of protein activity, scientists can better understand not only basic biology but also how disease corrupts cellular function and identify potential therapeutics to rectify these aberrations.

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