Cell suicide could hold key for brain health and food security

phys.org | 4/22/2014 | Staff
LordLord (Posted by) Level 4
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Research into the self-destruction of cells in humans and plants could lead to treatments for neurodegenerative brain diseases and the development of disease-resistant plants.

A study co-led by The University of Queensland's Professor Bostjan Kobe identified the role certain proteins play in cellular suicide.

Life - Organisms - Humans - Plants - Cells

"To sustain life, diverse organisms like humans and plants have cells that commit suicide for the benefit of the rest of the organism," Professor Kobe said.

"This is a key part of our own immune response—infected cells will often commit suicide, so the greater organism can live.

Proteins - Cell - Death - Process - Neurons

"Surprisingly though, studying proteins involved in the cell death process in human neurons has led us to discover how cell death also occurs in plants.

"We've found common ways human and plant cells bring about cell suicide."

Team - Combination - Biology - Biochemistry - Neurobiology

The team used a combination of structural biology, biochemistry, neurobiology and plant science to analyse cells and proteins, laying the foundation for some potentially ground-breaking innovations.

"Neurodegenerative diseases affect millions of people worldwide, and come about for different reasons, but what connects them is the breakdown of brain cells,"...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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