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JBC Newsroom

Latest news releases spotlighting JBC research papers:

Untangling vitamin D activation pathways in inflammation and bone health

October 16, 2017

Researchers have identified a region of the genome that regulates vitamin D activation in the kidneys, opening the door for more sophisticated treatments of diseases, including bone and immune disorders, involving vitamin D. The results of this research will be published in the Oct. 20 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Read more...

A molecular garbage disposal complex has a role in packing the genome

October 10, 2017

New research from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, to be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry on Oct. 13, has found that the proteasome, an essential protein complex that breaks down proteins in cells, has another unexpected function: directly regulating the packing of DNA in the nucleus. Read more...

When HIV drugs don't cooperate

October 2, 2017

The term "synergy" has gained a reputation as an overused buzzword, but it has a quantifiable definition in pharmacology. Two drugs are considered synergistic when their effectiveness when used together is greater than the sum of their effects alone. That is, a drug that is synergistic with another doesn't just perform a beneficial function itself, but makes the second drug perform its function better. Read more...

What a rare blood disease can teach us about blood clotting

October 2, 2017

When a person is injured, blood clotting is essential. However, once the danger has passed, it is equally essential to stop the clotting response in order to prevent thrombosis, or the obstruction of blood flow by clots. A protein called antithrombin is responsible for stopping coagulation, but about one in two thousand people have a hereditary deficiency in antithrombin that puts them at much higher risk of life-threatening blood clots. Read more...

Discovering what makes organelles connect could help understand neurodegenerative diseases

September 25, 2017

Inside every cell is a complex infrastructure of organelles carrying out different functions. Organelles must exchange signals and materials to make the cell operate correctly. New technologies are allowing researchers to see and understand the networks that connect these organelles, allowing them to build maps of the trade routes that exist within a cell. A study to be published in the September 29 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry reports the use of an emerging method to identify proteins that allows two organelles, the mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum, to attach to each other. Read more...

Scientists find cellular backup plan for keeping iron levels just right

September 20, 2017

Iron is essential for cells to function, but excess iron can damage cells. Accordingly, cells have sophisticated molecular mechanisms to constantly sense and adjust iron levels. Disorders of cellular iron metabolism affect, by some estimates, more than a third of the world's population. In addition to well-known disorders like anemia, caused by overall insufficient levels of iron in the human body, iron deficiency can impair brain function in the young and reduce muscle strength in adults. Iron may be dysregulated at the level of individual cells in neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, and disordered iron metabolism contributes to congenital conditions such as Friedrich's ataxia. Read more...

Sugary secrets of a cancer-related protein.

September 15, 2017

The proteins in human cells are extensively decorated with different types of sugars, a phenomenon called glycosylation. These modifications greatly increase the diversity of protein structure and function, affecting how proteins fold, how they behave, and where they go in cells. New research that will be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry on Sept. 22 demonstrates that a rare type of glycosylation profoundly affects the function of a protein important for human development and cancer progression. Read more...

New insights into bacterial toxins

September 5, 2017

A toxin produced by a bacterium that causes urinary tract infections is related to, yet different in key ways from, the toxin that causes whooping cough, according to new research. The findings, which will be published in the Sept. 8 issue of The Journal of Biological Chemistry, could aid in the development of new vaccines. Read more...

Expanding the reach of therapeutic antibodies

August 29, 2017

A group of researchers has developed an approach to efficiently produce antibodies that can bind to two different target molecules simultaneously, a long-desired innovation in the field of cancer immunotherapy. The details will be published in the Sept. 1 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Read more...

A metabolic pathway that feeds liver cancer

August 10, 2017

A little-studied gene may explain how some liver cancer cells obtain the nutrition they need to proliferate, according to new research from the University of Maryland. The results of this research will be published as an Editors' Pick in the Aug. 18 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Read more...

Tracing the path of Parkinson's disease proteins

August 4, 2017

As neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease progress, misfolded proteins clump together in neurons, recruiting normal proteins in the cell to also misfold and aggregate. Cells in which this occurs degenerate and eventually die. Being able to keep an eye on the whereabouts of these corrupted proteins is key to unraveling these diseases and developing cures. Read more...

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