Tag Archives: Hermann Steller

Scientists identify gene that regulates stem cell death and skin regeneration

A collaboration between researchers in Hermann Steller’s Strang Laboratory of Apoptosis and Cancer Biology and Elaine Fuchs’s Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development has revealed a new function for a gene previously shown to prevent stem cells from turning cancerous. The gene, Sept4/ARTS, has now been shown to regulate programmed death in skin stem cells, a finding that may have implications for wound healing, regeneration and cancer. More »

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Scientists discover new way protein degradation is regulated

Researchers at The Rockefeller University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have identified the mechanism by which the cell’s protein recycler, the proteasome, ramps up its activity to take care of unwanted and potentially toxic proteins. The finding, which has implications for treating muscle wasting and neurodegeneration, also suggests that small molecule inhibitors of this mechanism may be clinically useful in treating multiple myeloma. More »

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Analysis of sperm differentiation reveals new mode of proteasome regulation

The proteasome plays a key role in the differentiation of specialized cells and in maintaining them as they age. The ability to manipulate the proteasome has already been useful in the treatment of multiple myeloma; it could help treat other cancers and degenerative disorders including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s as well. New research identifies a key protein, called DmPI31, that regulates the proteasome, which could provide researchers a handle for using it to good medical effect. “Controlled proteolysis is essential for many cell biological functions,” says Hermann Steller, head of the Strang Laboratory of Apoptosis and Cancer Biology. “There had been the impression that the proteasome is just a brute ‘shredder,’ but it doesn’t run at full steam all the time. It’s modulated, and these findings give us new ideas for designing small molecules that regulate proteasome activity.” More »

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‘Reaper’ protein strikes at mitochondria to kill cells

Many billions of cells in the human body kill themselves every day, as the old and decrepit make way for the new and healthy. This process of programmed cell death, called apoptosis, is crucial in early development and in the routine maintenance of life. New research, conducted in the cells of fruit fly eyes, delves into the molecular complexity of the process and returns fresh insights about the proteins that initiate cell death. The results suggest a technique that could allow for highly efficient, targeted killing of problematic cells such as those that drive the uncontrolled growth of tumors. More »

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Gene identified that prevents stem cells from turning cancerous

Stem cells have tremendous regenerative power, but their potency can also be lethal. Now researchers have identified a gene that prevents stem cells from turning into tumors in mice by regulating the process of programmed cell death, or apoptosis. The work is the first to show that interfering with the programmed death of stem cells can have fatal consequences. More »

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Levels of cellular stress determines longevity of retinal cells

Scientists expose neurons in the fruit fly retina — and other cells — to moderate cellular stress and find a protective effect, shedding light on potential therapeutic targets that can protect against or delay the onset of neurodegeneration. More »

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By amplifying cell death signals, scientists make precancerous cells self-destruct

On the cellular level, death signals can actually be life saving, by killing off abnormally dividing cells before they turn cancerous. Now, Rockefeller University researchers have found a way to amplify these signals by turning a life-affirming protein into a killer. The findings not only mark a breakthrough in the field but also open the door to a new line of drugs for cancer therapeutics. More »

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New cell death pathway involved in sperm development

Good swimmers, like healthy sperm, are sleek and light. They shed extra pounds, shape their body and even shave their legs to move efficiently and fast. Sperm also remove excess baggage to function optimally, and caspases, proteins involved in apoptosis, or programmed cell death, facilitate this process. New research from Rockefeller University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute uncovers a new pathway that regulates caspase activity in Drosophila sperm, a finding that represents a new and promising drug target for therapeutic purposes. More »

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Unfolded proteins may protect cells from dying

When proteins are not properly folded, cells become stressed to a point where they may die. But new research shows that a stress response pathway helps them cope with inhospitable environments, and it could lead to new therapies to fight disease. More »

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For insect cells, like mouse cells, one protein decides between life and death

Cells are given life by mitochondria, an organelle that provides them with all the energy they need. But while mitochondria giveth, they also taketh away — when a cell’s time is up, they release molecules that start a cascade ending in death. At least that’s how it works in humans, mice and other vertebrates. And now, new research from Rockefeller University’s Hermann Steller shows for the first time that the molecules and events that trigger cell death in invertebrates can also start in the mitochondria. More »

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Mice with defective sperm offer clues to infertility in men

New research in mice by scientists at Rockefeller University and the Population Council sheds light on the causes behind male infertility. More »

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Sperm cells shaped by natural cell suicide mechanism

Since discovering that body cells actively commit suicide over 35 years ago, scientists have come to learn that this natural process, called programmed cell death, occurs throughout human tissues, millions of times a day, to eliminate potentially harmful cells, such as those behind cancer. More »

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Researchers Solve Killer Protein’s “Crime”

A killer protein named Reaper. A protective protein in bits and pieces. And a dead cell. This is the scene of one of the body’s most perfect crimes: programmed cell death. This vital process occurs throughout life as a means to, among other purposes, eliminate potentially cancerous cells. More »

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Cells on the Verge of Suicide

A developing cell in the human body sits on the edge of death. Proteins called Grim, Reaper and Hid stand poised, ready to unleash other toxic proteins. Only if a protein messenger from another cell arrives in time to call off the killing, will the cell then mature into any one of the various types of body cells, such as skin, liver and brain. More »

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