We all know that almost all of our cellsThe body is regularly updated. But what happens to the cells at this very moment? And a process called “apoptosis” happens to them. This is, in short, a pre-programmed death. A natural process without which we could not exist. However, apoptosis is not always good. Say, after heart attacks or organ removal for transplantation, this process also starts. And it would be nice to understand how to stop him. This is exactly what the group of Australian scientists managed to do.
The results of an 11-year study are published inNature Chemical Biology magazine, and experts from Monash University, led by professors David Juan, Guillaume Lessen, and Benjamin Kiel, stand behind them. Scientists claim that the “cell death blocker” they created has tremendous potential for maintaining cell viability.
Never before have we seen so promisingthe ability to interfere with the cellular process in the very early stages of apoptosis before irreversible damage occurs. Acute heart attack can cause rapid cell death, which leads to loss and weakening of tissues and muscles. Under such conditions, the ability to prevent uncontrolled cell death can improve a patient's recovery or even increase his chances of survival.
Apoptosis is controlled by the BCL-2 protein family. Moreover, some of them increase the chances of cell survival, while others cause cell death. While, roughly speaking, the balance of these proteins is biased towards survival, the cell is functioning. The team focused on the BAK and BAX proteins. They are activated at the critical stage of apoptosis and their appearance is a kind of “point of no return”, after which the cell is doomed to death.
In laboratory models, we found that we caninhibit apoptosis and maintain cell function. We have shown that it is possible to stop the biochemical cascade, which causes cell death, right at the point where it begins.
In experiments with cell culturesthe researchers were able to “disable” the BAK protein using a specially selected molecule. This made it possible to inhibit apoptosis and keep cells alive and healthy, since the second I – V characteristic is not enough to “shift the equilibrium” and start the apoptosis process. Moreover, the created bioorganic molecule does not require special expenses in production and does not affect other cell systems. Moreover, if you wish, you can clearly select the concentration of the substance in such a way that it is "not enough" so that it has an effect on neighboring organs and tissues. And thus, the new molecule can be applied even at a fairly local level. What do you think about the new technology? Write about it in our chat in Telegram.
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Scientists are confident that their discovery will help createdrugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative processes associated with loss of brain function (such diseases include Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases), cardiovascular diseases like myocardial infarction, as well as transplantation in order to keep organs suitable for transplantation for a longer time.