Tag: Protein Function

Heat shock protein drives yeast evolution

December 23, 2010

Whitehead Institute researchers have determined that heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) can create diverse heritable traits in brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) by affecting a large portion of the yeast genome.

Mammalian aging process linked to overactive cellular pathway

December 22, 2010

Whitehead Institute researchers have linked hyperactivity in the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) cellular pathway to reduced ketone production in the liver, which is a well-defined physiological trait of aging in mice.

Protein that predicts prognosis of leukemia patients may also be a therapeutic target

July 8, 2010

Researchers at Whitehead Institute and Children’s Hospital Boston have identified a protein, called Musashi 2, that is predictive of prognosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients. High levels of Musashi 2 protein is associated with increased cell proliferation, decreased cell maturation, and multiple cancer-related cellular pathways in human leukemias.

Microscope image of the transitional phase of yeast prions

A different tune: cellular IPOD plays role in prion biology

April 26, 2010

According to Whitehead Institute researchers, cells take advantage of a biologically ancient compartment to sequester prions, an action that can initially prevent the prions’ phenotypic expression. While in this compartment, less stably heritable prion plaques also mature to a more transmissible state.

Yeast overproducing alpha-synuclein

Small molecules found to protect cells in multiple models of Parkinson’s disease

December 28, 2009

Several structurally similar small molecules appear capable of protecting cells from alpha-synuclein toxicity, a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease, according to Whitehead Institute researchers.

Karyotype of cell with only one copy of each chromosome, except chromosome 8

Knockouts in human cells point to pathogenic targets

November 26, 2009

Whitehead Institute researchers have developed a new approach for genetics in human cells and used this technique to identify specific genes and proteins required for pathogens.

Schematic of YOD1's role

Jamming cell’s protein disposal shows how system works

October 26, 2009

Whitehead Institute scientists have determined that a protein known as YOD1 plays a critical role in the disposal of misfolded cellular proteins. The researchers identified YOD1’s role by blocking its function, a manipulation that halts the elimination of errant proteins entirely. The finding should help bring greater understanding to this vital but complex cellular process.

Gene mutation alone causes transmissible prion disease

August 26, 2009

Whitehead Institute researchers have shown definitively that mutations associated with prion diseases are sufficient to cause a transmissible neurodegenerative disease. Deciphering the origins of prion diseases could help farmers and policy-makers determine how best to control a prion disease outbreak in livestock and to prevent prion transmission to humans.

Multiple myeloma cells get what they want

May 27, 2009

Researchers at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research have identified a protein in multiple myeloma cells, called DEPTOR, that indirectly activates a signaling pathway commonly turned on in cancer cells. Known as the PI3K/PTEN/Akt pathway, this signaling pathway controls cell survival, and when altered, keeps cancer cells from dying.

Opening the primary mouth with Wnt antagonists

May 4, 2009

Whitehead researchers have identified a novel mechanism that operates during formation of the “primary mouth”, the first opening between the outside of the embryo and the intestine.

Redefining what it means to be a prion

April 2, 2009

Whitehead Institute researchers have found a large number of new prions, greatly expanding scientists’ notion of how important prions might be in normal biology and demonstrating that they play many and varied roles in the inheritance of biological traits.

Cell pathway on overdrive prevents cancer response to dietary restriction

March 11, 2009

Whitehead Institute researchers have pinpointed a cellular pathway that determines whether cancerous tumors are susceptible to dietary restriction during their development. When this pathway, known as PI3K is permanently turned “on” via mutation, tumors grow and proliferate independent of the amount of food consumed. However, when the PI3K pathway operates normally, tumors respond to dietary restriction—defined as food consumption limited to 60% of normal--and become smaller in size.

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