Tag: Protein Function

Yeast Helps Researchers Better Understand Parkinson's Mystery

December 4, 2003

Scientists know that in patients with Parkinson’s disease, certain proteins in the brain form clusters that somehow contribute to cell death and, eventually, lead to the onset of the disease’s debilitating symptoms. Whitehead scientists have succeeded in duplicating the disease’s most critical features in the most readily manipulated model organism in existence.

Scientists Identify Dual Function for “Eyes absent”

November 19, 2003

Scientists know that proteins called transcription factors that regulate gene expression play a key role in cellular function. But what if that’s only part of the story? What if these regulators lead a double life no one knew before?

Scientists Work to Break Cellular Code

November 6, 2003

Despite the rich knowledge scientists now have of the genes that constitute the human genome, researchers have yet to unravel the precise choreography by which they work – or malfunction – together in the cell in response to triggers from the outside world.

Study Offers New Insight into Rett Syndrome

October 30, 2003

Rett Syndrome is a major cause of mental retardation in girls. Although researchers have identified the protein involved in the disease, its exact role remains a mystery. Now, a group of researchers from Children’s Hospital Boston and Whitehead Institute have identified the protein’s function, a discovery the scientists say could be the first significant advance in Rett Syndrome research in years.

New Protein Provides Clue to Diabetes

October 15, 2003

Although cases of adult-onset diabetes have skyrocketed in the United States, researchers still don’t know much about the biological processes that predispose so many people to the disease. But in research that will be published in the Oct. 16 issue of the journal Nature, scientists say they’ve found a protein that plays an essential role in regulating a cell’s ability to absorb glucose.

New Computer Method Advances Systems Biology

October 14, 2003

A team of researchers from Whitehead Institute and MIT have developed a new computational method that will give a boost to the field of systems biology.

Illustration showing the many factors impacting the protein complex (Raptor, mTOR and GßL) that orchestrates cell growth.

Researchers Find New Piece of Cell Growth Puzzle

April 29, 2003

Spurred by the discover of a cellular pathway that helps switch cell growth on and off, new research links growth to a cell's ability to sense nutrients in its environments.

Vaccine Technology Homes in on Cancer

November 21, 2002

Whitehead Institute Member Richard Young's lab has discovered a unique approach to vaccine development, which is now in phase II and III human clinical trials for the cancer-causing human papilloma virus.

Lindquist Lab Sheds Light on How Prion Proteins Kill Neurons

October 17, 2002

Prion diseases—such as mad cow disease in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans—have stumped scientists for decades with a complex "whodunit" complete with many suspects and a missing murder weapon. Unlike other infectious diseases that are linked to pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, these diseases have a unique and mysterious connection to a misfolded protein.

Building a New Paradigm in Drug Discovery

May 22, 2002

It’s no secret that drug development is a painfully slow and expensive process—a typical new drug takes 15 years and $500 million to come to market, costing the pharmaceutical industry some $20 billion annually. That’s because finding a drug candidate and developing it into a treatment for disease is largely a matter of luck. To make drug discovery a more targeted science, we need to identify the complete set of all human proteins and develop tools to study them in parallel," says Whitehead Fellow David Sabatini, who was chosen as one of the world’s 100 Top Young Innovators by Technology Review magazine.

Scientists Find Protein at the Intersection of Genetics, Development and the Environment

May 13, 2002

Environmental stress can reveal hidden genetic variation in plants, resulting in novel traits that might provide an alternative to genetic modification of crops, researchers report in the journal Nature. They have linked this phenomenon to the actions of a particular molecule, the heat stress protein Hsp90. These findings place Hsp90 at the interface of environment and genetics and potentially provide an explanation for a long-standing evolutionary puzzle: how do large changes in form and function requiring the synchronous alteration of several features occur during evolution?

Scientists Find New Player in Cell Death Pathway

October 19, 2001

Research from Robert Weinberg’s lab at the Whitehead Institute has uncovered a much sought after piece of the puzzle of how cells use a protein called p53 to voluntarily die when the cell’s DNA is damaged. In fact, p53 is defective in 50% of human cancers allowing the cells to multiply despite DNA mutations.

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