Tag: Protein Function

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.

Key metabolic pathway implicated in intractable form of breast cancer

July 18, 2011

Using a new in vivo screening system, Whitehead Institute researchers have identified a protein in a key metabolic pathway that is essential in estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer.

Scientists discover new component of key growth-regulating signaling pathway

June 10, 2011

Researchers in the lab of Whitehead Institute Member David Sabatini have identified a previously unknown substrate of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase, called Grb10. Linking Grb10 activity to mTOR provides a more detailed understanding of the function of mTOR and may open up new areas for mTOR research.

Leucine deprivation proves deadly to malignant melanoma cells

May 16, 2011

Whitehead Institute researchers have found that depriving human melanoma cells of the amino acid leucine can be lethal to the cells, suggesting a possible strategy for therapeutic intervention. The researchers observed the effect in melanoma cells with a mutation in the RAS/MEK signaling pathway—the most common mutation found in the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Two unsuspected proteins may hold the key to creating artificial chromosomes

April 28, 2011

Whitehead Institute scientists report that two proteins once thought to have only supporting roles, are the true “stars” of the kinetochore assembly process in human cells.

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