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  • New functions for old acquaintances

    images86Given the endless accumulation of complete genomes of a remarkable number of organisms, one of the immediate objectives of the post-genomic era is the functional description of all the genes that make up a genome. To this end, considerable effort has focused on experimental design methods with high analytical skills. Among them, induction of variation in the expression of cDNA libraries, which are tested in cell cultures. Along with this approach, the development of robotic systems provides massive data analysis and a multitude of variables taken together .


    The work of the Cancer Research Center, University of Salamanca, presents a new experimental system to detect cDNA whose overexpression induces distinct types of cell death. The process, after the screening of 135 000 cDNA, has identified three patterns of cell death: apoptosis and autophagic vacuoles. Among the promoters of apoptosis clones have appeared four members of the mitochondrial carrier family: transport of phosphate and adenine, and the mitochondrial carrier homolog 1 and 2 (MTCH). Overexpression of these molecules involves the release of cytochrome c. It appears that one of these family members, the phosphate transporter, is able to interact with proteins of cell membrane pores as ANT1 and VDAC1. Specifically, the union with ANT1 is stabilized in the presence of activators of the apoptosis process.


    The results of this work have allowed to attribute new features, previously unknown in this mitochondrial carrier. Some features that suggest common properties and that several transporters have been exploited during evolution to regulate apoptosis.

    Published on December 5, 2012 · Filed under: Bioscience; Tagged as: , , ,
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