Skip to main content

Discoveries Category

The Slow Road to Avoid Catastrophe

Aug. 26, 2019—Microtubules – protein polymers consisting of heterodimers of α- and β-tubulin – play a critical role in cell division, morphology, and intracellular transport. During microtubule polymerization, the tubulin heterodimers, each monomer of which contains a bound GTP molecule, align themselves head-to-tail into a multi-stranded structure containing two distinct ends: a plus-end exposing β-tubulin, and a...

Read more


To fully mature, they’ve gotta move (out)

Aug. 14, 2019—By Lorena Infante Lara New technologies allow us to look at old knowledge with fresh eyes. Scientists have known about microvilli for a long time. Electron microscopy showed us how mature microvilli pack densely on the apical surface of gut, renal, and other epithelial cells, but it couldn’t show us how they form this structure....

Read more


Controlling WNT Signaling Through DVL2

Aug. 5, 2019—The WNT family of signaling proteins plays an important role in the regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, motility, and migration via multiple pathways that are frequently dysregulated in cancer. The well-known canonical WNT pathway, critical to growth and development, functions primarily through modulation of the transcription factor β-catenin. The WNT-PCP (planar cell polarity) pathway regulates...

Read more


The β cell’s path to success: Balancing insulin production and storage

Jul. 31, 2019—By Deborah Roby The Cell and Developmental Biology labs of Irina Kaverina and collaborators Guoqiang Gu and Chris Wright recently published work in Current Biology that presents a newly discovered means by which the pancreas maintains glucose homeostasis. This work illuminates the crucial steps pancreatic β cells take to package insulin and ready it for release into the body....

Read more


Exploring Allostery as a Signaling System

Jul. 25, 2019—Multi-input/multi-output (MIMO) signaling systems, defined as networks that coordinate numerous inputs (e.g., enzyme substrates, receptor ligands, allosteric modulators) to yield multiple outputs (e.g., products, secondary signaling molecules, etc.) are common in living cells and critical for the modulation of all cellular processes. Understanding the dynamics of these complicated systems has proven incredibly difficult, as they...

Read more


This is why we can’t have nice things: How influenza impairs the host defense

Jul. 11, 2019—By Deborah Roby The influenza virus prevents its own destruction and causes virulence by a newly discovered method. The non-structural protein 1 (NS1) of the influenza A virus allows disease proliferation by binding a protein that activates the host’s immune reaction. The lab of Yi Ren, in collaboration with researchers at various U.S. and Chinese...

Read more


Study points to importance of chromatin remodeling complex for β cell function

Jun. 28, 2019—By Lorena Infante Lara Research from the labs of Roland Stein (Molecular Physiology & Biophysics) and Chris Wright (Cell & Developmental Biology) suggests that the chromatin remodeling complex Swi/Snf, when bound to transcription factor Pdx1, is required for controlling the growth rate of the embryonic pancreas and for maintaining β cell identity in the adult organ. Our...

Read more


A New Target for a Deadly Childhood Cancer

Jun. 12, 2019—SWI/SNF is a multicomponent protein complex that plays an important role in chromatin remodeling. It is also likely an important tumor suppressor, as indicated by the fact that approximately 20% of human cancers carry a mutation in one or more SWI/SNF protein components. However, the exact mechanism by which these mutations contribute to cancer pathogenesis...

Read more


Functional Insights Into a Major Drug-Resistance Transporter

May. 30, 2019—As a member of the class of ABC (ATP-binding cassette) transporters, the P-glycoprotein (P-gp) harnesses energy from ATP hydrolysis to power conformational changes that transfer substrates across the cell membrane against a concentration gradient. P-gp transports more than 200 structurally diverse substrates, thereby playing a role in the pharmacokinetics of numerous drugs and toxicants, and...

Read more


Taming the Fear Response

Apr. 30, 2019—Disorders arising from trauma and stress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), are a major cause of morbidity and mortality, and they exact a huge economic toll on our society. Hence, a major effort is underway to find new treatments for these diseases. A clue to possible novel therapeutic targets comes from the observation that...

Read more


VIEW MORE EVENTS >