Duke Team Identifies New ‘Mega-Complex’ Involved in Cell Signaling

Contact: Sarah Avery Phone: 919-660-1306 Email:sarah.avery@duke.eduhttps://www.dukehealth.orgEMBARGOED FOR RELEASE until 12 p.m. (noon, ET) on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke Health-led researchers have discovered new information about the signaling mechanism of cells that could one day help guide development of more specific drug therapies.For years, well-established science detailed the intricacies of how cells change function after receiving chemical signals from hormones, neurotransmitters or even drugs.  Receptors on the outside of cells were known to launch the signaling process, which alerts proteins that trigger a cascade of events leading to the desired response, followed by a desensitization mechanism that allows cells to return to baseline.In recent years, however, the process has shown additional complexity that seemed to defy foundational assumptions, notably in how and where these signals can arise within the cell.Now researchers at Duke Health, led byRobert Lefkowitz, M.D., report that they appear to have solved this enigma. Lefkowitz, a James B. Duke Professor of Medicine at Duke and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, shared the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for describing cell signaling molecules and defining the underlying science for how therapies such as beta blockers and antihistamines can use them to advantage.In a study published online Aug. 4 in the journal Cell, Lefkowitz -- along with co-lead authors Alex R. B. Thomsen an...
Source: DukeHealth.org: Duke Health Features - Category: Pediatrics Tags: Duke Medicine Source Type: news

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