Genetically Programmed Cell Death the Same in Plants and Animals

UPPSALA, Sweden, Oct. 15 (UPI) — A Swedish-led team of European scientists says it has determined programmed cell death occurs in the same way in plants, animals and humans.

The researchers said they’ve shown parts of the genetic programs that determine programmed cell death in plants and animals are actually evolution related and function in a similar way

For plants and animals, and for humans as well, it is important that cells develop and die under controlled forms, the scientists said. Disruptions of the process can lead to various diseases — such as cancer, when too few cells die, or neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, when too many cell die.

The researchers said their findings indicate programmed cell death was established early in evolution and demonstrates the importance of comparative studies across different species to enhance our understanding of how fundamental mechanisms function at the cellular level in the plant and animal kingdoms, and, by extension, in humans.

The new findings by scientists at the University of Agricultural Sciences, which led the study, and the Karolinska Institute, both in Sweden; the University of Durham in England; the University of Tampere in Finland; and the University of Malaga in Spain appear in the journal Nature Cell Biology.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Categorized | Animals
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