Explore the Alternatives
to Promote Good Health
tions should join with Chabad's
Children of Chernobyl in en-
couraging Dr. Baverstock and the
WHO Thyroid Cancer Project to
verify the actual effect of in-
creased Jewish susceptibility to
post irradiation thyroid cancer
on Chernobyl's current victims.
Aid Insulin Action
particular protein region
seems to play a key role in
the cell's response to in-
sulin, according to a Weiz-
mann Institute study described
in the July 28, 1995, issue of the
Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Because loss of response to in-
sulin is one of the causes of dia-
betes, this finding may some day
contribute to the development of
new ways for treating this dis-
Insulin is a hormone formed
in the pancreas and released into
the bloodstream in order to pro-
mote the uptake of glucose from
the blood by the body cells. Dia-
betes, which affects millions of
people worldwide and is the third
leading cause of death, is caused
either by insufficient insulin pro-
duction or by a lack of proper re-
sponse to the insulin on the part
of target tissues. The new study
has pinpointed a region in the
target cells that is necessary for
a normal response to insulin.
Cells sense the presence of in-
sulin via specialized receptors
that protrude through cell mem-
branes and initiate biochemical
changes inside the cell. The
Weizmann team, headed by Pro-
fessor Yehiel Zick of the depart-
ment of chemical immunology,
deleted a region of the cell pro-
tein IRS-1, which is a biochemi-
cal link in the insulin signaling
pathways, and found that insulin
signaling was disrupted. This re-
gion, called the plackstrin ho-
mology domain, plays an
important role in insulin action.
This conclusion is supported
by similar findings in a Harvard
Medical School-U.S. National In-
stitutes of Health study report-
ed in the May 19 issue of the
Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Professor Zick's team, which
included departmental colleague
Dr. Daniel Schindler and Ph.D.
students Dr. Hedva Voliovitch
and Yaron Hadari, collaborated
with Drs. Simeon Taylor and
The plackstrin homology do-
main contains.about 120 amino
acids grouped into six main
blocks. The Weizmann team re-
moved four of these blocks, and
found that this prevented the
protein IRS-1 from taking on
PROTEIN REGION page 58
Front, Left to Right: Kim L. Miller, M.D. and Robert C. Levine, M.D.
Rear, Left to Right: David Brownstein, M.D. and Jeffrey E. Nusbaum, M.D.
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