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August 9, 2005

Firefly protein lets researchers monitor molecule linked to cancer

Topics: Medicine

Nuclear Factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) is a collective name for the complexes formed by the multigene NF-kappaB-Rel family which function as DNA-binding proteins and transcription factors. Typically, in non-stimulated normal cells, NF-kappaB subunits are held in an inactive cytoplasmic form. In response to cellular stimulation, typical examples of which are exposure to the inflammatory cytokines tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) and interleukin 1 (IL-1), NF-kappaB translocates to the nucleus where it can regulate gene expression.

Now, scientists have used a glowing protein from fireflies(luciferase) to observe the activity of IKappa kinase (IKK), a molecule that is an important target for new drugs to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases and several other disorders. IKK regulates processes that can trigger dramatic changes in cellular physiology and stands at a pivot point in the middle of an important set of linked chain reactions known as the NF-KappaB pathway.

Related reading:
Nuclear Factor-kappaB Pathway as a Therapeutic Target in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Pharmaceutical and Molecular Validation in Human Cell Lines Using Velcade and siRNA/NF-{kappa}B.

Mayo Clinic Discovers "New Pathway" Against Pancreatic Cancer

Functional investigation of the class II tumor suppressor gene H-REV107-1

Posted by Hyscience at August 9, 2005 11:48 PM

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