Results about: membrane protein

Tumour cells are dependent on fat to start metastasis

A study at IRB Barcelona has identified the cells responsible for initiating and promoting metastasis in several types of human tumours.

Their results show that the protein CD36, which absorbs fat from the cell membrane, is an essential factor that determines whether tumour cells become metastatic.

In the absence of CD36, the human tumours analysed did not develop metastasis. In addition, the inhibition of this protein also dramatically reduced the size of existing metastases.

Mice given a high-fat diet developed the most aggressive metastases. The study reports that the metastatic process is enhanced by fat intake.

IRB Barcelona will co-develop antibodies against CD36 with the potential to treat patients.

New strategy to obtain a specific type of amyloid-beta aggregate that may underlie neuronal death in Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers at IRB Barcelona describe for the first time how to prepare a specific type of aggregate of the amyloid-beta protein with the ability to perforate the cell membrane.

What causes neuron death and the subsequent cognitive decline in Alzheimer´s disease is still unknown.

Technology can now extend the album of 3D “photos” of membrane proteins, which currently covers 3% of these molecules

30% of human proteins exert their function in cell membranes and more than 50% act on these proteins.

New high-resolution microscopes and 3D calculation programmes are crucial to increase the number of atomic structures available, which currently stands at 440, this figure representing 3% of the estimated 15,000 that exist.

Today sees the start of a three-day conference in Barcelona involving 150 international scientists invited by the BBVA Foundation and IRB Barcelona.