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Bio Saga

Friday, May 2, 2008

Researchers Find that a Small Molecule Can Activate an Important Cancer Suppressor Gene

By activating a cancer suppressor gene, a small molecule called nutlin-3a can block cancer cell division, according to researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. This activation of the p53 gene leads to cellular senescence. An opportunity for new genetic mutations occurs each time a cell divides, so limiting the number of cell divisions in a cancer cell inhibits tumor progression.

Activation of p53 can suppress tumor growth through more than one mechanism. It can interfere with the cell cycle, prompting a cell with unrepaired DNA damage to commit suicide through a complex signaling pathway called apoptosis. Alternatively, p53 may trigger cellular senescence in response to DNA damage or cellular stress.

The expression of p53 is regulated by Mdm2, a protein that is overexpressed in several human cancers. Nutlins are small-molecule inhibitors that prevent the p53 protein from forming a complex with Mdm2, resulting in activation of p53. Previous studies have shown that nutlin can induce apoptosis in human cancer cells.

Protein interactions play significant roles in various aspects of the structural and functional organization of the cell, and their elucidation sheds light on the molecular mechanisms of biological processes. Having a network of protein interactions will allow researchers to identify drugs that target pathways related to a specific disease while avoiding pathways associated with unwanted side effects and toxicity. Key to advancing our knowledge of biochemical pathways and networks is the intelligent analysis and mining of available literature, which is a vast resource of information on thousands of interactions.

NetPro™ is the largest database in the world (expertly curated) on protein-protein interactions. NetPro™ would be invaluable to any investigator in shortlist his genes of interest from a high-throughput experiment as it's interactive query interface (WebMINE) provides answers for questions like,
  • Is the protein a surface receptor?
  • Is it a major switch?
  • Is it Druggable?
  • What is the patent position on the same?
  • What is the nearest path between the 2 genes of my interest?
  • Is this protein known to be involved in a particular disease/pathway
Do you want to know more?

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Life Science and Informatics

What is this?
is this a new industry?
or a old wine in a new bottle?

Well Life Sciences and Informatics can be anything form computational biology, all omes and omics, core bioinformatics to curation and literature mining, database creation, in the area of biology, chemistry , bio-chem space.

There are number of companies in India and bangalore is the forefront as a major bio-cluster with 20 to 30 companies in this sphere.

now how good are these companies doing?
how good are they in terms of the international markets and how profitable is their business?
what do they do?
their clients?

These are some interesting things that could be discussed in this blog page...

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