Human immune 'trigger' map paves way for better treatments
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IMAGE: A discovery about how human cells are ‘triggered’ to undergo an inflammatory type of cell death could have implications for treating cancer, stroke and tissue injury, and immune disorders. Associate Professor… view more 

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A discovery about how human cells are ‘triggered’ to undergo an inflammatory type of cell death could have implications for treating cancer, stroke and tissue injury, and immune disorders.

A research team from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne identified the molecular trigger in human cells that drives necroptosis, and implicated defects in this molecular trigger as potentially playing a role in cancer development.

The research, published today in Nature Communications, was led by Institute researchers Dr Emma Petrie, Dr Jarrod Sandow and Associate Professor James Murphy.

An inflammatory problem

Necroptosis is a type of controlled cell death that is initiated when the cell detects something harmful in its environment, and alerts the immune system to come to its aid.

Excessive or inappropriate activation of necroptosis has been linked to a number of diseases and conditions, including stroke, organ transplant injury and kidney disease, as well as some immune disorders.

Abnormalities in necroptosis have also been implicated in cancer development.

Associate Professor Murphy said

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