Cellular mechanism discovery may yield new treatment pathways

Cellular mechanism discovery may yield new treatment pathways

A study from the Scripps Research Institute has discovered a cellular mechanism that may offer new treatment for diseases such as cancer.

The phosphorylation of proteins has long been considered as the regulator of cellular process, but researchers have identified the importance of sulfenylation - a protein regulating mechanism - in creating hydrogen peroxide.

Professor Kate Carroll, leader of the study, stated: "We've elevated protein sulfenylation from a marker of oxidative stress to a bona fide reversible post translational modification that plays a key regulatory role during cell signalling."

It is thought that the body uses hydrogen peroxide to transport healing cells to wounded tissue.

Using the zebrafish as an animal model, researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered that when the tail fins of the fish are injured, hydrogen peroxide is released from the wound and into the surrounding tissue. Teams of rescue-working white blood cells then respond to the chemical and begin the healing process.

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