A protein found that exists in every cell of living things can treat a large array of diseases

07/03/2013 - 00:00

A tiny protein called ubiquitin – so named because it is present in every cell of living things as dissimilar as hollyhocks and humans - may hold the key to treatment for a variety of diseases from Parkinson's to diabetes. The protein, found in all eukaryotes (organisms with membranous cells), was considered unimportant when it was described in 1975. But scientists now know ubiquitin takes many different forms and is important in basic cellular processes, from controlling cells' circadian clocks to clearing away the harmful build-up of cells found in cancer and other diseases.