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Autophagy is a normal process in which a cell destroys proteins and other substances in its cytoplasm (the fluid inside the cell membrane but outside the nucleus), which may lead to cell death. Autophagy may prevent normal cells from developing into cancer cells, but it may also protect cancer cells by destroying anticancer drugs or substances taken up by them.
Autophagy prevents accumulation of toxic proteins associated with type 2 diabetes

Autophagy prevents accumulation of toxic proteins associated with type 2 diabetes

People with Type 2 diabetes have an excess of a protein called islet amyloid polypeptide, or IAPP, and the accumulation of this protein is linked to the loss of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. [More]
Elevated ASM activity linked to Alzheimer's disease

Elevated ASM activity linked to Alzheimer's disease

Unclogging the body's protein disposal system may improve memory in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a study from scientists at Kyungpook National University in Korea published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine. [More]
Enhancing autophagy in pre-diabetic patients has potential to prevent onset of diabetes

Enhancing autophagy in pre-diabetic patients has potential to prevent onset of diabetes

Diabetes affects almost 400 million people worldwide. One of the hallmarks of this disease is a loss of pancreatic β cells, which secrete insulin. In many patients the reduction of β cells is associated an accumulation of a toxic form of a protein produced by β cells, known as islet amyloid polypeptide. [More]
Scientists find single gene that plays surprising role in manipulating aging

Scientists find single gene that plays surprising role in manipulating aging

It is something of an eternal question: Can we slow or even reverse the aging process? Even though genetic manipulations can, in fact, alter some cellular dynamics, little is known about the mechanisms of the aging process in living organisms. [More]
Increasing clearance of ALS misfolded protein from neurons improves their survival

Increasing clearance of ALS misfolded protein from neurons improves their survival

In work supported by The ALS Association, researchers have shown that increasing the clearance of misfolded protein from neurons improves their survival. The study was published today in the journal Nature Chemical Biology. [More]
CNIO researchers identify over 40 genes that predict aggressiveness of melanoma

CNIO researchers identify over 40 genes that predict aggressiveness of melanoma

Researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre have discovered more than 40 genes that predict the level of aggressiveness of melanoma and that distinguish it from other cancers with a poor prognosis. The discovery, published in Cancer Cell, will help to identify unique aspects of melanoma that could contribute to determine the risk of developing metastasis in patients with this disease. [More]
New study on transmitophagy process may help treat diverse disorders

New study on transmitophagy process may help treat diverse disorders

It's broadly assumed that cells degrade and recycle their own old or damaged organelles, but researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Kennedy Krieger Institute have discovered that some neurons transfer unwanted mitochondria - the tiny power plants inside cells - to supporting glial cells called astrocytes for disposal. [More]
Supermodel mouse reveals critical role played by unknown gene that regulates metabolism

Supermodel mouse reveals critical role played by unknown gene that regulates metabolism

A lean "Supermodel" mouse type has revealed the potentially critical role played by a largely unknown gene that regulates metabolism, findings that could provide new insight into diseases ranging from diabetes to obesity, a new study by UT-Southwestern Medical Center researchers suggests. [More]
New dual-pronged approach for treating Niemann-Pick type C disease

New dual-pronged approach for treating Niemann-Pick type C disease

By studying nerve and liver cells grown from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), Whitehead Institute researchers have identified a potential dual-pronged approach to treating Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease, a rare but devastating genetic disorder. [More]
Nimotuzumab enhances chemo-radiosensitivity by promoting autophagic cell death in ESCC cells

Nimotuzumab enhances chemo-radiosensitivity by promoting autophagic cell death in ESCC cells

A study which will be published in the May 2014 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine was aimed at determining whether an EGFR-targeted therapy combined with chemo-radiotherapy can improve local tumor control effectively, compared to cytotoxic agents or irradiation alone. [More]
BrightFocus Foundation honors 5 outstanding scientists in fields of macular degeneration, glaucoma

BrightFocus Foundation honors 5 outstanding scientists in fields of macular degeneration, glaucoma

The BrightFocus Foundation today honored five outstanding scientists in the fields of macular degeneration and glaucoma, presenting them with named research awards at an event during the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. [More]
IRB Barcelona scientists develop new drug target to prevent muscle deterioration in certain diseases

IRB Barcelona scientists develop new drug target to prevent muscle deterioration in certain diseases

​In the study published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI), one of the journals with highest impact in experimental medicine, the researchers associate the activity of the DOR protein with muscle atrophy and point to DOR as a plausible target against which to develop a drug to prevent muscle deterioration in certain diseases. [More]
Inhibiting cancer-promoting prolactin causes unconventional cell death in preclinical research

Inhibiting cancer-promoting prolactin causes unconventional cell death in preclinical research

Under stress from chemotherapy or radiation, some cancer cells dodge death by consuming a bit of themselves, allowing them to essentially sleep through treatment and later awaken as tougher, resistant disease. [More]
UT Southwestern professor honored with 2014 Norman Hackerman Award in Chemical Research

UT Southwestern professor honored with 2014 Norman Hackerman Award in Chemical Research

Dr. Benjamin P. Tu, associate professor of biochemistry at UT Southwestern Medical Center, was honored today with the 2014 Norman Hackerman Award in Chemical Research. Dr. Tu was recognized for innovative studies of once-unappreciated molecules that may someday improve treatments for cancer or conditions associated with aging. [More]
Discovery could lead to new medications for cancer, say Rice University scientists

Discovery could lead to new medications for cancer, say Rice University scientists

A new understanding of proteins at the nexus of a cell's decision to survive or die has implications for researchers who study cancer and age-related diseases, according to biophysicists at the Rice University-based Center for Theoretical Biological Physics. [More]
Researchers review influence of lipid rafts on progression of Alzheimer's disease

Researchers review influence of lipid rafts on progression of Alzheimer's disease

Research over decades has implicated aberrant autophagy and lysosomal function as reliable markers and therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases. [More]
Initial stage of autophagy does not affect components of beclin 1 complex

Initial stage of autophagy does not affect components of beclin 1 complex

Alteration of the autophagic process is involved in neurodegeneration. The beclin 1 complex is shown to play a key role in the initial stage of autophagy. [More]
Tissue analysis near tumors holds promise for earlier detection, new treatments

Tissue analysis near tumors holds promise for earlier detection, new treatments

Seemingly healthy cells may in fact hide clues that lung cancer will later develop, according to a study led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center The research is published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. [More]
Research: Beneficial and toxic roles of brain glycogen

Research: Beneficial and toxic roles of brain glycogen

In 2007, in an article published in Nature Neuroscience, scientists at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) headed by Joan Guinovart, an authority on glycogen metabolism, reported that in Lafora Disease (LD), a rare and fatal neurodegenerative condition that affects adolescents, neurons die as a result of the accumulation of glycogen-chains of glucose. [More]
Scientists reveal two regulatory mechanisms that keep the body's immune response in check

Scientists reveal two regulatory mechanisms that keep the body's immune response in check

A Keck Medicine of USC-led team of microbiologists has identified previously unknown interactions between critical proteins in the human immune response system, uncovering two independent regulatory mechanisms that keep the body's immune response in check. Their findings appear in the February 2014 edition of Cell Host & Microbe, the top peer-reviewed scientific journal that focuses on the study of cell-pathogen interaction. [More]