London: Scientists have discovered mechanisms which control a new form of premature cell death in living tissue, opening up the possibility of new treatment for a number of diseases, says a new research.
Till now, "ferroptosis" was a form of cell death identified only in cancer cells.
New findings show that this kind of cell death can also be triggered in healthy cells by removing the protein Gpx4, responsible for regulating the cell death process, Xinhua reported.
To counter this, researchers from the Cardiff University collaborated with researchers in Sweden and America to understand how to control the process.
Using lipidomics and extensive molecular screening, the team uncovered a small inhibitor called Liproxstatin-1, which proved to be capable of suppressing ferroptosis.
The scientists were then able to use this inhibitor to prevent cell death in living organisms. Tests have since revealed that this mechanism prevents tissue damage in human kidney cells.
According to the researchers, the findings suggest that this could be a therapeutic target for preventing tissue damage in a range of conditions.
"We are hoping that these exciting results will stimulate further enquiry in this area, helping to unravel mechanisms involved in this important new form of cell death," said co-author of the study Valerie O'Donnell from the Cardiff University in Britain.
The study appeared in the journal Nature Cell Biology.