Work on Boosting Cellular Repair Processes

This article looks at a research group who are working on a way to make cells more resilient to wear and tear - which may or may not have application to a range of conditions: "Their early research looked at skeletal muscle and how calcium plays a role in atrophy and aging. Then in 2006, they published a study showing cells in older mice were essentially leaking calcium - causing a natural aging process and inefficient muscle function. [Researchers] identified and isolated a naturally occurring protein that suggested [this aspect of the] aging process could possibly be reversed through future drugs. They subsequently gained worldwide attention after they identified the protein MG53 as a key initiator of membrane repair in damaged tissue, in the first study to specifically pinpoint a protein responsible for promoting cell repair. The protein is one that all humans, mice and other mammals have. It's a molecule at the forefront of repairing any and all injuries - from normal wear and tear of individual cells to widespread catastrophic trauma. The lab work shows the protein's importance under the microscope: A single needle prick completely deflates and kills a cell without the protein. But a cell bolstered with MG53 quickly recovers, repairing its torn outer layer at an accelerated rate. ... The research is now at the heart of a new drug company that is performing the first trials of an MG53 therapy on mice. ... the university granted TRIMedicine - headquartered in North Brunswick - a license to work on an application of the drug."

Link: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/05/in_a_umdnj_lab_a_discovery_tha.html

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