Parthanatos: A Common Mechanism Chain Leading to Brain Diseases

Brain is the most important part of any specie on Earth. Without proper functioning of brain it is impossible to perform an activity with accuracy and efficiency. It is in this backdrop that brain diseases becomes crucial issue at stake that needs a solution. A team of  researchers have recently identified that all the brain diseases have a common mechanism chain- ‘parthanatos’ leading to brain cell death.

The common mechanism involves a protein named ‘parthanatos eating away the brain cell’s DNA. The name Parthanatos is derived from an enzyme called PARP and from the Greek god of death.

The previous studies in this field have discovered how a protein called mitochondrial apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) engages in the carving up of genome existing at the cell’s nucleus.The researchers believe that the AIF do not suffice itself to eat way the DNA when it leaves its usual place in mitochondria.

Yingfei Wang, then-postdoctoral fellow and now assistant professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has tested 160 human proteins. He has concluded from the analysis that a protein, macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) teams up with AIF to destroy the DNA cells.

Ted Dawson, director of the Institute for Cell Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has stated, “We found that AIF binds to MIF and carries it into the nucleus, where MIF chops up DNA. We think that’s the final execution step in parthanatos.” It is Ted Dawson in partnership with Valina Dawson has laid the foundation for the study in this field.

Dawson further asserted, “I can’t overemphasize what an important form of cell death it is; it plays a role in almost all forms of cellular injury.” He added, “We’re interested in finding out whether MIF is also involved in Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.”

A complete analysis of the protein, helps in understanding the development of MIF- inhibiting drug made for preventing, weakening, or stopping the process. The researchers are already working on developing chemical compounds that would obstruct the MIF cells from destroying DNA cells.

 

Shobith MAKAM Written by:

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