In proof-of-concept experiments, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine demonstrate the ability to tune medically relevant cell behaviors by manipulating a key hub in cell communication networks. The manipulation of this communication node, reported in this week’s issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, makes it possible to reprogram large parts of a cell’s signaling network instead of targeting only a single receptor or cell signaling pathway. …Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom
A family of proteins called G proteins are a recognized component of the communication system the human body uses to sense hormones and other chemicals in the bloodstream and to send messages to cells. In work that further illuminates how cells work, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a new role for G proteins that may have relevance to halting solid tumor cancer metastasis.
The study is reported online April 9 in Developmental Cell.
“Our work provides the first direct evidence that G proteins are signaling on membranes inside cells, not just at the cell surface as has been widely believed for several decades,” said Pradipta Ghosh, MD, associate professor and senior author. “This is significant because the G-protein pathway is a target of at least 30 percent of all current drugs on the market.” … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom
Researchers believe cardiology specialists may be unaware of risk —
About one quarter of all atrial fibrillation patients at the lowest risk for stroke receive unnecessary blood thinners from cardiology specialists, according to a new study by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and University of California, San Francisco, and these health care providers must be made aware of the resulting potential health risks. The findings are published online April 13 by JAMA Internal Medicine.
“Clinicians who prescribe blood thinners need to be diligent about weighing the risks and benefits of these medications,” said lead author Jonathan C. Hsu, MD, cardiologist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at UC San Diego … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom
Computer modeling leads to more precise targeting of therapies —
Researchers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego, have described for the first time the molecular mechanism of cancer development caused by well-known “resistance” mutations in the gene called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).
While these mutations were known for quite a long time, the question as to why they cause cancer or make some drugs ineffective was still not answered.
The study, called “Molecular Determinants of Drug-Specific Sensitivity for Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) Exon 19 and 20 Mutants in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer,” and published online in the journal Oncotarget, demonstrates how computer modeling of EGFR mutations found in lung cancer can elucidate their molecular mechanism of action and consequently optimize the selection of therapeutic agents to treat patients. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom
The senior investigator in the study was Razelle Kurzrock, MD. Dr. Kurzrock is Chief of the Division of Hematology & Oncology; Murray Professor of Medicine; Senior Deputy Director, Clinical Science and
Director, Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy and Clinical Trials Office at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.
Collaboration between UC San Diego and SDSU among first in nation —
A new Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) in Interdisciplinary Research on Substance Use has been launched by the Division of Global Public Health in the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and San Diego State University’s School of Social Work. The program will emphasize research devoted to studying the use and misuse of alcohol and drugs – and related social and health consequences. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom
Co-directors of the program are Steffanie Strathdee, PhD, and Maria Luisa Zúñiga, PhD.
Dr. Strathdee is Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences, head of the UC San Diego Global Health Initiative and Harold Simon Professor and Chief of the Division of Global Public Health at UC San Diego.
Dr. Zúñiga is associate professor and behavioral epidemiologist in the Division of Global Public Health and associate professor in the San Diego State University School of Social Work.
How a sugar-rich mucus barrier traps the virus – and it gets free to infect
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have shown for the first time how influenza A viruses snip through a protective mucus net to both infect respiratory cells and later cut their way out to infect other cells. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center
Project co-investigators from the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine are Robert T. “Chip” Schooley, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the division; associate project scientist Xing-Quan Zhang; and Hui-Wen Chen, now at the School of Veterinary Medicine at National Taiwan University.
Dr. Schooley is academic affairs vice chair for the Department of Medicine.
Citation for the study report in Virology Journal:
Miriam Cohen, Xing-Quan Zhang, Hooman P Senaati, Hui-Wen Chen, Nissi M Varki, Robert T Schooley, Pascal Gagneux. Influenza A penetrates host mucus by cleaving sialic acids with neuraminidase. Virology Journal 2013, 10:321 (22 November 2013) doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-321. | Full text (Open access)
More news from the Division of Infectious Diseases:
- Discovery Provides Blueprint for New Drugs That Can Inhibit Hepatitis C Virus
- HIV Prevention in a Pill
- UC San Diego Biologists Produce Potential Malarial Vaccine from Algae
- UC San Diego Researcher Receives $2.5 million Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Enzyme Accelerates Malignant Stem Cell Cloning in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia
- Dr. Helen King and Dr. Philipp Wiesner Present Mentored Research Study Results at Grand Rounds
UC San Diego-based effort will speed discoveries to new drugs and treatments for patients
In a bold and singular step toward delivering the therapeutic promise of human stem cells, businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford has committed $100 million to the creation of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at the University of California, San Diego… Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDKD) – part of the National Institutes of Health – has renewed a grant shared by the University of California, San Diego and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Schools of Medicine. The five-year, $5.64 million renewal will extend and expand research into acute kidney failure, or acute kidney injury, which kills 70 to 80 percent of patients in intensive care units who develop the disease. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom
Ravindra L. Mehta, MD, FACP, UC San Diego professor of clinical medicine and vice chair for clinical research in the Department of Medicine, is associate director of the UC San Diego – University of Alabama at Birmingham O’Brien Center for Acute Kidney Injury Research.
He directs the O’Brien Center’s clinical studies core with co-director Daniel O’Connor, MD. O’Connor is professor of medicine and pharmacology and co-director, UCSD Center for Human Genetics and Genomics.
UC San Diego nephrology faculty members Roland Blantz, MD, and Volker Vallon, MD, are co-directors of the pre-clinical studies core of the O’Brien Center. Blantz is distinguished professor of medicine emeritus and former chief of the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension; Vallon is professor of medicine and pharmacology.
Ravindra L. Mehta is Director of Dialysis Programs and Clinical Nephrology for UC San Diego Health System. In the UC San Diego School of Medicine, Mehta directs the Clinical Research Enhancement through Supplemental Training (CREST) and Master’s Degree in Clinical Research programs.
In 2011, Mehta received the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) Shire Bywaters Award for his lifetime achievements in acute kidney injury.
Serving Up a Winning Strategy to Beat Cancer
A profile of Dr. Scott M. Lippman
New director of Moores Cancer Center
by Kim Edwards
Scott M. Lippman, MD, new director of Moores Cancer Center is at the net, poised and ready to beat his fiercest opponent.
“In war, in any kind of battle, even a tennis match, you want to identify your opponent’s weakness and go after it,” said Lippman. “It’s the same with cancer. This is a war, and you want to have the strongest army and plan of attack.”… Read the full profile from the UC San Diego Health System newsroom
Trio of papers describe in unprecedented detail a major molecular target for drugs
Three international teams of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California San Diego, University of Michigan and Stanford University, have published a trio of papers describing in unprecedented detail the structure and workings of -G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), a large family of human proteins that are the target of one-third to one-half of modern drugs…. Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom