Tag Archives: chemical and structural biology

A new way to reset gene expression in cancer cells shows promise for leukemia treatment

A protein that often is mutated in leukemia cells could represent a potent drug targetScientists have discovered a potential new target for the treatment of leukemia that potentially could augment the activity of BET inhibitors, drugs currently in clinical trials. These therapies act on histones, DNA’s packaging proteins, to reset gene regulatory programs that go awry in cancer.
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New structural studies reveal workings of a molecular pump that ejects cancer drugs

New structural studies reveal workings of a molecular pump that ejects cancer drugsSometimes cells spit out things we don’t want them to—like medications. Researchers have determined the three-dimensional structure of a tiny pump that expels, among other things, chemotherapy agents. This new knowledge could lead to the design of more effective drugs. More »

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Atomic-scale view of bacterial proteins offers path to new tuberculosis drugs

New molecular insights are giving scientists ideas for how to combat antibiotic-resistant strains
In studying a cousin of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis, scientists have drawn a molecular map of the target for rifampicin, a common antibiotic. They are now using it in an effort to combat multi-resistant tuberculosis, for which existing treatments don’t work. More »

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New structure shows how cells assemble protein-making machinery

New structure shows how cells assemble protein-making machineryResearchers have created the most detailed images to date of a particle destined to become part of a ribosome. Their findings gave them a new view of how these essential nano-machines are put together. More »

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Researchers shed new light on RNA’s journey out of a cell’s nucleus

Researchers shed new light on RNA’s journey out of a cell’s nucleusTo make proteins, cells must export RNA from their carefully guarded nuclei. Researchers have determined the structure of one important component of the restrictive gate through which this cargo must pass, with implications for understanding disease. More »

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Mutations in key cancer protein suggest new route to treatments

Mutations in key cancer protein suggest new route to treatmentsResearchers found they could disrupt STAT3’s ability to act as a transcription factor and so contribute to the proliferation of cancerous cells, by altering a particular part of the protein. This accomplishment suggests a basis for new, targeted approaches to fighting cancer. More »

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Study reveals the architecture of the molecular machine that copies DNA

Study reveals the architecture of the molecular machine that copies DNAUntil now, the exact configuration of the replisome, a block of proteins that unzips the DNA helix and creates two duplicate helices, was unknown. After taking the first complete pictures of it, researchers were surprised to find the complex possesses a counterintuitive architecture, raising new questions about its functions. More »

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Researchers explore how a cell’s protein-making factories are assembled

Researchers explore how a cell’s protein-making factories are assembledThe intricate dynamics of ribosome assembly, an elaborate and carefully coordinated process that happens continuously inside cells, are not yet fully understood. Using a new technique they devised, researchers have mapped out the proteins involved in the early stages of the construction of a ribosome. More »

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Newly described ion channel structure reveals how excited neurons settle down

The long anticipated structure of an ion channel reveals how excited neurons settle downThe channel, Slo2.2, helps restore neurons’ internal electrical state, and so prevents them from firing at too high a frequency for too long, which has the potential to damage the cells. With the new information about Slo2.2’s configuration, researchers can better understand how it accomplishes this. More »

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