Findings may help develop interventions and fight cancer and neurodegenerative diseas

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Findings may help develop interventions and fight cancer and neurodegenerative diseas


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Old 04-04-2014, 12:00   #1
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Default Findings may help develop interventions and fight cancer and neurodegenerative diseas

Researchers identify how zinc regulates a key enzyme involved in cell death | VCU Across the Spectrum

The molecular details of how zinc, an essential trace element of human metabolism, interacts with the enzyme caspase-3, which is central to apoptosis or cell death, have been elucidated in a new study led by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University. The study is featured on the cover of the April issue of the journal Angewandte Chemie’s International Edition.

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“The work is unique in helping to open up a broad new area of research which we call the bioinorganic chemistry of apoptosis – understanding the role of essential metal ions in one of life’s fundamental processes,” said corresponding author Nicholas P. Farrell, Ph.D., member of the Developmental Therapeutics program at VCU Massey Cancer Center and professor of chemistry in the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences.

“Indeed, the zinc inhibition of apoptosis in fact contrasts with the role of its closely related neighbor copper, which is understood to enhance apoptosis,” he said.

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