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Researchers Discover Chemicals that affect Cell Transport


Co-PI Natasha Raikhel and colleagues have published research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that discusses how the endomembrane system plays a critical role in plant development and response to environmental stresses and disease.

Screening nearly 50,000 drug-like compounds, Hicks, Natasha Raikhel and colleagues discovered more than 100 chemicals that impact the endomembrane system in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. This high-content screening approach could be useful in predicting the types of molecules affecting the endomembrane system not only in plants but humans and has significance for drug discovery.

Raikhel was joined in the research by Glenn Hicks, Associate Research Plant Cell Biologist, Zhenbiao Yang, a professor of cell biology, Michelle Q. Brown and Shingo Nagawa, as well as scientists at the University of Ghent, Belgium and the Scripps Research institute.

Citation: Drakakaki G, Robert S, Szatmari A-M, Brown MQ, Nagawa S, Van Damme D, Leonard M, Yang Z, Girke T, Schmid SL, Russinova E, Friml J, Raikhel NV, Hicks GR (2011) Clusters of Bioactive Compounds Target Dynamic Endomembrane Networks in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 108 (43): 17850-17855.

Address Goals

The research activity advances through identifying compounds that may be used to track movements of cellular products throughout a cell by disrupting the cellular transport system. This system may allow researcher to create drugs that inhibit the release of cellular product. Additionally, the determination of these compounds expands experimental tool for other researcher to utilize.