Tag: Protein Function

Image of autophage markers in cells with and without RagA activated

Nutrient-sensing enzymes key to starvation response and survival in newborn mammals

December 23, 2012

One enzyme, RagA, has been found to regulate the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway in cells according to glucose and amino acid availability. When this regulation breaks down in fasting newborn mice, the animals suffer a nutritional crisis and die.

Graphical explanation of MCT1's role in 3-BrPA's uptake by some cancer cells

Cell surface transporters exploited for cancer drug delivery

December 2, 2012

According to Whitehead Institute researchers, a protein known as monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1), which is highly expressed in a subset of metabolically altered cancer cells, is needed for the entry of the investigational cancer drug 3-bromopyruvate (3-BrPA) into malignant cells.

Cartoon of cyclin D3's role

Protein found to regulate red blood cell size and number

August 28, 2012

By examining the results of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in conjunction with experiments on mouse and human red blood cells (RBCs), researchers in the lab of Whitehead Institute Founding Member Harvey Lodish have identified the protein cyclin D3 as regulating the number of cell divisions RBC progenitors undergo, which ultimately affects the resulting size and quantity of RBCs.

Microscope images of samples extracted from cancer tumors and adjacent tissues

Heat-shock factor reveals its unique role in supporting highly malignant cancers

August 2, 2012

Whitehead Institute researchers have found that an ancient, highly conserved cell survival factor drives expression of a specific set of genes that is strongly associated with metastasis and death in patients with breast, colon, and lung cancers.

Model of eukaryotic argonaute protein

Structure of RNAi complex now crystal clear

June 20, 2012

Researchers at Whitehead Institute and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have defined and analyzed the crystal structure of a yeast Argonaute protein bound to RNA.

Schematic diagram of the Hsp90 protein.

Breast cancer clinical trial to test combination of heat shock protein inhibitor and hormonal therapy

May 22, 2012

A clinical trial involving collaboration between researchers at Whitehead Institute and Dana Farber Cancer Institute is now enrolling patients with recurrent or metastatic estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer.

Image:  Computer-generated model of mTORC1

On the path to age-defying therapies

March 29, 2012

By teasing apart rapamycin’s activity at the cellular level, researchers at Whitehead Institute and the University of Pennsylvania have determined that inhibiting only the protein cluster known as the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) prolongs life in mice without adversely affecting glucose tolerance or insulin sensitivity.

Image: Yeast with prions grow better than those without when challenged with an antifungal drug

Prions play powerful role in the survival and evolution of wild yeast strains

February 15, 2012

In a massive undertaking, Whitehead Institute scientists have tested nearly 700 wild yeast strains isolated from diverse environments for the presence of known and unknown prion elements, finding them in one third of all strains. All the prions appear capable of creating diverse new traits, nearly half of which are beneficial.

Diagram of how chromosomes are aligned

A mitosis mystery solved: how chromosomes align perfectly in a dividing cell

February 12, 2012

Although the process of mitotic cell division has been studied intensely for more than 50 years, Whitehead Institute researchers have only now solved the mystery of how cells correctly align their chromosomes during symmetric mitosis. 

Images of cells with LSD1 activity on and off

Chaos in the cell's command center

February 1, 2012

Whitehead Institute researchers have determined the critical role one enzyme, lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1), plays as mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) differentiate.

Breast tissue showing both breast cancer cells and normal breast epithelial cells

High levels of master heat shock protein linked to poor prognosis in breast cancer patients

October 31, 2011

Whitehead Institute scientists report that patients whose estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancers have high levels of an ancient cellular survival factor experience poor outcomes—including increased mortality.

Protein unmasks pathogenic fungi to activate immune response

August 8, 2011

Whitehead Institute researchers have uncovered a novel association between two fungal recognition receptors on the surface of certain immune cells, called macrophages.  The interaction of these receptors (dectin-1 and galectin-3) sheds new light on how the innate immune system discriminates between non-pathogenic and pathogenic fungi.

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