W. M. Keck Foundation award supports UC Riverside research aimed at showing membrane transporters guide flow of steroid hormones into cells
Riverside, CA – A team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside, seeking to upend a long-held theory explaining how hormones freely enter and exit cells, has received a major boost in the form of a $1 million award from the W. M. Keck Foundation.
Steroid hormones regulate immune response, sexual maturation, cancer progression, metabolism, and inflammation. Despite their importance, little is known about how they cross cell membranes. Researchers in the field have long believed that diffusion explains the process.
Challenging this dogma, the UC Riverside researchers posit that membrane transporters are involved, facilitating the transport of steroid hormones across cell membranes, akin to an airport jetway guiding passengers from a terminal into an airplane.
“We expect the successful completion of our project will show that steroid hormones do not enter cells by simple diffusion, but rather via transporters lodged like revolving doors within the cell membrane. This would overturn a long-standing paradigm in endocrinology,” says Sachiko Haga-Yamanaka, the principal investigator of the three-year grant.
To read more, https://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/51372
About UC Riverside
The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California’s diverse culture, UCR’s enrollment is now nearly 23,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.