||Regulating Cell Death and Survivial
Senesco's technology is based on our discovery that Factor 5A regulates programmed cell death, or apoptosis, and, cell survival. The gene encodes two structurally similar proteins - differing by a single amino acid at position 50 in the protein sequence – that appear to play a critical role in determining whether a cell proliferates or enters the programed cell death cycle.
The eIF5A gene encodes a protein possessing lysine at position 50, which induces apoptosis when its level becomes elevated, that is efficiently converted to a sister protein possessing hypusine, another naturally occurring amino acid, at position 50, which promotes cell survival and proliferation and is easily detected. Levels of the lysine form are carefully controlled and are essentially undetectable under normal conditions. Lysine is converted to hypusine by a post-translational modification.
Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is a normal component of cell growth. Its role serves to eliminate cell that are no longer required including old, redundant or defective cells. The cells die in a controlled, regulated fashion in contrast to necrosis in which uncontrolled cell death leads to lysis of cells, inflammatory responses and, potentially, to serious health problems.
When a cell enters the apoptotic pathway proteins, known as caspases, are activated, which break down the cellular components including structural proteins and regulatory enzymes.
We have shown that the eIF5A plays an important role in regulating apoptosis.
Back to Top