The role of a specific protein, PKA (protein kinase A), is essential in some types of cells for autophagy. Autophagy is the physiological process through which our cells get rid of damaged components. This discovery could open new therapeutic strategies for degenerative diseases and tumors.
This is the result achieved by the recently published study, conducted by Professor Kostantinos Lefkimmiatis, on Nature Publishing Group – Cell, Death & Differentiation. Professor Lefkimmiatis is Junior Principal Investigator at VIMM and member of the Department of Molecular Medicine at University of Pavia.
The study starts from the analysis of autophagy mechanism to analyze the dynamics with which it recognizes and selectively focuses on damaged cellular components. A fundamental work, given the recognized importance of cell autophagy in various human diseases, from neurodegeneration to cancer.
“By visualizing the activity of PKA in living cells, we discovered how its coordinated actions in time and space contribute to the regulation of autophagy. The latter is one of the fundamental processes of cellular homeostasis “, commented Professor Lefkimmiatis. “For this reason, the focus of the study is to discover the role of PKA in the regulation of autophagy.”