Flotillins are highly homologous proteins (known as flotillin-1 and flotillin-2, or reggie-2 and reggie-1, respectively) that localize to membrane rafts (specific cholesterol-rich microdomains in cellular membranes), and are associated with various signaling pathways, cell adhesion, membrane trafficking and axonal growth.
Tumor metastases cause ninety percent of cancer deaths, and occur when cells detach from a primary tumor and form new malignancies elsewhere. This process involves circulating tumor cells (CTC) which intravasate and extravasate (enter and exit the blood vessels) allowing migration to other parts of the body. Continue reading
Snake venom toxins are well-known for their profound physiological effects that enable their use as tools to aid basic research and clarify pathological processes; they also have enormous potential in drug design and development. Further, an area of growing interest is the molecular evolution and diversification of these toxins, a particularly rapid and dynamic process for which the underlying mechanisms are still being unraveled. Continue reading
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is defined as intestinal and non-intestinal symptoms resulting from the ingestion of gluten, and which is not due to celiac disease (CD) or wheat allergy. Gluten sensitivity appears to be increasing and is thus a topic of significant public and research interest; a recent paper published in the journal Nutrients describes progress in the field from a meeting of experts.1 Some common questions about gluten sensitivity are posed below, illustrating that while some basics are clear, there is much yet to unravel about the cause of NCGS. Continue reading
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Board has chosen Paul Tchounwou, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH), to receive the 2013 AAAS Mentor Award. This award honors extraordinary leadership to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering fields and will be presented at the AAAS annual meeting in Chicago, 13-17 February 2014.
In the current issue of Diagnostics, Wu, Pfeifer and colleagues demonstrate how targeted radionuclide anti-tumor therapy upregulates specific cells of the immune system, advancing understanding of the host immune response to treatment and facilitating the optimization of dosage and protocols for improved patient outcomes. Continue reading
Soil arthropods, invertebrate animals with exoskeletons, including ants, termites and millipedes, munch their way through plant litter that ends up as the nutrient rich soil upon which complex terrestrial life depends. Most of us, though, are likely only dimly aware of the essential roles arthropods play in maintaining ecosystems. We are more apt to regard arthropods as pests, and thus with a vague annoyance, or in a fearful context. Termites, for example, are likely far better recognized for the terror they instill in homeowners, than for the fact that they process up to 60% of plant debris. This is no small feat, and it is worth understanding the critical role arthropods play as either plant litter ‘transformers’ or ‘ecosystem engineers’. Continue reading