Magazine article USA TODAY

Pivotal Enzyme Rescued by Another Molecule

Magazine article USA TODAY

Pivotal Enzyme Rescued by Another Molecule

Article excerpt

Marked for death with molecular tags that act like a homing signal for a cell's protein-destroying machinery, a pivotal enzyme is rescued by another molecule that sweeps the telltale targets off in the nick of time. The enzyme, called TRAF3, lives on to control a molecular network that is implicated in a variety of immune system-related diseases if left to its own devices.

Scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, have identified TRAF3's savior and demonstrated how it works. By discovering the role of OTUD7B as TRAF3's protector, Shao-Cong Sun, professor in the Department of Immunology, and colleagues filled an important gap in their understanding of a molecular pathway discovered in Sun's lab.

"Genetic defects or constant degradation of TRAF3 lead to the uncontrolled activity of what we call the noncanonical NF-kB pathway. This, in turn, is associated with autoimmune diseases and lymphoid malignancies such as multiple myeloma and B cell lymphomas." Sun explains. …

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