Activation of apoptosis executor BAX is mediated by intra-molecule charge transfer

Results of a collaboration between the Centre for Systems Medicine (CSM) and the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), Masaryk University, Brno have been recently published in the highly respected theoretical journal PLOS Computational Biology (Ionescu et al., Plos CB 2012).

The collaboration led by Prof Jaroslav Koca (CEITEC) and Dr. Heinrich Huber (CSM) investigated structural data of BAX activation by a functional peptide of its natural activator protein (Bim) that were provided by the Walensky Group (Gavathiotis, Mol. Cell 2010). Using methods from quantum chemistry, researchers from CEITEC and CSM provided insigths into how activation information can be processed through the entire molecule, given that the activation site and the site of biological effectivity are at the opposite side of the Bax molecule and separated by a distance of more than 25 A°.

Results of the study are putting forward the notion of intra-molecule signal transduction that may process through changes in partial charges of amino-acid residues. In addition, the study identified novel potential targets for therapeutic drugs that may restore or attenuate apoptosis.

Ref: Ionescu CM, Svobodova-Varekova R, Prehn JHM, Huber HJ, Koca J, Plos Comp. Biol. 2012

Seminar: Clinical & Molecular Oncology

Seminar by invited speaker:

Professor Dr Peter Daniel

Charité Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Humboldt University
& Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Germany

Unexpected findings in the regulation of the Bak pathway in apoptosis

The Centre for Systems Medicine is pleased to announce another speaker of our seminar series. Professor Dr Peter Daniel is Group Leader for Clinical and Molecular Oncology at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Chairman of the Section Molecular Oncology and Tumor Genetics at Charité Campus Virchow Klinikum and Vice Chairman of the Department of Hematology and Oncology at the University Medical School Charité, Berlin, Germany. Professor Dr Peter Daniel earned his MD and PhD in Internal Medicine in 1987 from the University of Tübingen, Germany. During his postdoctoral training at the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, he investigated the role of the CD95 (APO-1/Fas) death receptor in the regulation of T and B-lymphocyte apoptosis and immune tolerance.
His research is aimed at defining genetic defects in cancer that result in aggressive disease, poor prognosis, and resistance to clinical cancer therapy.

The talk will be held in RCSI on Thursday 07th of June 2012.