Research Report: Insight into protein behind chemo resistance

A research team at the Scripps Research Institute has obtained the first glimpse of a protein that keeps certain substances, including many therapeutics, out of cells. The protein, called P-glycoprotein (P-gp for short) is one of the main reasons cancer cells are resistant to chemotherapy drugs.

P-gp, first identified in 1976, sits in the membrane that surrounds human cells, including those in the gut, intestine, kidney and brain, where it functions as a gatekeeper, transporting out potentially harmful agents.

The problem is P-gp is such an effective transporter that it also blocks beneficial compounds from entering cancer cells.

The structure of P-gp was determined using X-ray crystallography, in which a beam of X-rays strikes a crystal and scatters into many different directions. From the angles and intensities of these scattered beams, a three-dimensional picture of the density of electrons within the crystal is revealed.

Understanding the P-gp structure may help scientists design more effective drugs. The research is described in the journal Science.

Major asthma research discovery
Asthma is a chronic, complex disease that is a major public health problem. Nearly one in every 13 people in the United States has asthma – more Americans than have coronary heart disease or cancer or Parkinson’s disease.

Researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology have been studying the role that certain proteins play in the ability of the immune system to guard the body against harmful microorganisms. Their work, in animal models, led to the discovery that use of an antibody to block the interaction of these proteins can substantially reduce the lung inflammation and airway blockage that are symptomatic of asthma attacks.

The discovery has now been licensed to the biotechnology firm MedImmune, a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca PLC, for development as a potential biologics drug for treating asthma.

Understanding human response to design
Architectural design can have a significant impact on how people respond to a “built environment.” In hospitals, for example, certain design features have been shown to reduce medical errors and the risk of infections.

When implemented in schools, design elements can enhance learning, as demonstrated by improved student test scores in math and English.

HMC Architects, a designer of education, healthcare, and government facilities, is contributing more than $100,000 in cash and professional services over the next two years to the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at UC San Diego. The gift will expand the institute’s research into human responses to the built environment.

Central to this work is the StarCAVE virtual-reality (VR) environment – housed at CalIt2 – a 360-degree, 16-panel, 3-D immersive environment that enables researchers to interact with virtual architectural renderings in three dimensions, in real time, and at actual scale.

Related posts:

  1. Research Report: Team links protein to cartilage degeneration
  2. Research Roundup: Basic research gets financial boost from major grants
  3. Research report: Drug to battle flu in the works
  4. Research Report: Salk Institute receives grant for aging research
  5. UCSD biologists discover motor protein that rewinds DNA

Short URL:

Posted by marylajolla on Apr 2, 2009. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6



  • La Jolla Library welcomes new chief Shaun Briley
    For La Jolla Riford Library’s new head librarian, Shaun Briley, books have been a part of his life and career, in some form or another, every step of the way. […]
  • Tangerine trees, marmalade skies for Beatles-inspired Patrons of the Prado gala in Balboa Park, San Diego
    “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was the theme of the Patrons of the Prado gala on July 12, 2014 in Balboa Park, San Diego. Beatles-inspired music came from Wayne Foster Entertainment. Sandy Redman and Jeanne Jones served as event chairs. 2014’s beneficiaries are the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego Museum of Art and The Old Globe Theatre. […]
  • La Jolla’s Best Bets for events July 31- Aug. 7
    Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) offers a crash course in starting a photography collection 6 p.m. Thursday Aug. 7. at the Ligne Roset Showroom, 7726 Girard Ave. MOPA assistant curator Chantel Paul and director of jdc Fine Art Jennifer DeCarlo will share professional insights. […]




  • It’s no stretch for Rancho Santa Fe yoga instructor to ‘give back’
    As one of North County’s most prolific yoga instructors, Stacy McCarthy doesn’t just teach yoga, she lives the yoga lifestyle. Selfless service, or seva in Sanskrit, is an important concept of yoga — one that the Rancho Santa Fe resident practices daily. “When we give and we give from the heart, there’s nothing more gratifying than that,” McCarthy said. […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe resident’s Gen 7 wines earn top honors
    Rancho Santa Fe resident Tim Bacino’s Gen 7 Wines is on a hot streak, his varietals winning several awards this summer in California wine competitions. […]
  • Torrey Pines High School baseball alum Taylor Murphy excelling in pro ball
    It was during a breakout senior year at Torrey Pines High that Taylor Murphy first popped up on the radar of professional scouts. Shortly after graduation, Murphy was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 40th round of the June 2011 amateur draft. He declined, honoring a commitment to the University of the Pacific. Three years later, Murphy got another sho […]