Macho muscle cells force their way to fusion

In fact, according to new research from Johns Hopkins, the fusion of muscle cells is a power struggle that involves a smaller mobile antagonist that points at, pokes and finally pushes into its larger, stationary partner using a newly identified …

Chaperone enzyme provides new target for cancer treatments

UNC scientists who study how cells repair damage from environmental factors like sunlight and cigarette smoke have discovered how a “chaperone” enzyme plays a key role in cells’ ability to tolerate the DNA damage that leads to cancer and other disea…

‘Reaper’ protein strikes at mitochondria to kill cells

Our cells live ever on the verge of suicide, requiring the close attention of a team of molecules to prevent the cells from pulling the trigger. This self-destructive tendency can be a very good thing, as when dangerous precancerous cells are permit…

With HMGB1’s help, cells dine in

Like some people, cells eat when they are under pressure — but they consume parts of themselves. A multi-function protein helps control this form of cannibalism, according to a study in the September 6 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology (ww…

Alzheimer's protein jams mitochondria; resulting 'energy crisis' kills neurons

Opening a new front in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have found that a protein long associated with the disease inflicts grave damage in a previously unimagined way: It seals off mitochondria in affected neurons, resulting in an “energy crisis” and buildup of toxins that causes cells to die. This pathway, the first specific biochemical explanation for pathologies associated with Alzheimer’s, is detailed in the April 14 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology.

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