home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  

Activating Smoothened

  November, 29 2005 11:29
your information resource in human molecular genetics
The protein target of a small molecule known to induce stem cell differentiation is reported in a paper in the January issue of Nature Chemical Biology. This molecule, purmorphamine, has been shown to trigger progenitor cell differentiation to osteoblasts, cells that build bones. Purmorphamine was believed to target the Hedgehog signaling pathway, which is involved in many developmental and growth processes in multicellular organisms, including embryonic patterning, tissue regeneration, stem cell renewal and cancer growth. However, the precise target of purmorphamine was not known.

By using a combination of genetics and biochemistry, James Chen and colleagues gradually narrowed down potential targets in the Hedgehog signaling pathway to identify the protein Smoothened as the target.

The authors further show that purmorphamine binds directly to a bundle of membrane-spanning helices. However even with this information about the binding site, future studies will be necessary to characterize the precise mechanism for how purmorphamine activates Smoothened.

Because the Hedgehog signaling pathway is involved in many critical developmental processes and diseases, understanding the mechanism of action of this chemical modulator provides a new lead for developing therapeutics for certain cancers, such as brain tumors, and stem cell treatments, such as bone regeneration.

Author contact:

James Chen (Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA)
E-mail: jameschen@stanford.edu

Abstract available online.

(C) Nature Chemical Biology press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

print this article mail this article
Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2023 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.