Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Promising strategy for treatment of lung cancer

A research team at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has shown in a study that two closely related enzymes could be targets for the treatment of lung cancer.

The discovery was made when the researchers blocked the production of the two enzymes in transgenic mice. This resulted in inhibition of cell growth, fewer tumours and greater survival among the mice.

The article is being published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). With many types of cancer, the growth and spread of tumours is stimulated by Ras and Rho proteins. For these proteins to function, they need to be modified by the closely related enzymes FT and GGT.

A number of pharmaceutical companies have therefore developed substances that reduce the activity of these two enzymes with the aim of inhibiting the function of Ras and Rho proteins and so slowing the development of the disease.

However, treatment with various substances to block these two enzymes has often been non-specific, and their efficacy has varied widely. This has made it difficult for researchers to assess the true potential of these enzymes as targets for medicines.

"We therefore developed genetic strategies in mice, known as transgenic mice, to switch off the genes coding for FT and GGT, enabling us to investigate whether a complete blockade of FT or GGT can inhibit the development of lung cancer, and whether this has side-effects in the lungs," explains researcher Anna-Karin Sjögren, who led the study together with Meng Liu, both from the Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine.

In their study, the researchers used transgenic mice which produce a mutated Ras protein that causes lung cancer. First, production of FT or GGT in these mice's lungs was stopped by switching off the relevant genes.

"When we turned off the FT gene, the mice developed fewer lung tumour
s and lived longer," says Meng Liu. "At cellular level, the blockade of FT meant that the tumour cells were no longer able to divide. When we blocked the production of GGT, we saw the same effects: inhibition of cell growth, fewer lung tumours and improved survival."

In experiments where both genes were switched off at the same time, the number of lung tumours dropped sharply and the mice lived much longer. This means that the absence of these two enzymes does not have any obvious side-effects in the lungs, and that lung tumour cells seem to be more sensitive to the treatment than normal lung cells.

"Our findings show that FT and GGT are promising targets for the treatment of lung cancer," the researchers explain. "The next step in our research is to find out whether blocking these enzymes can have side-effects in other tissues."

For more information, please contact:
Researcher Anna-Karin Sjögren, Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, tel. +46 (0)31 342 4723,

e -mail:

Researcher Meng Liu, Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, tel. +46 (0)31 3422164, e-mail:
Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Pnas).
Title of article: Targeting the protein prenyltransferases efficiently reduces tumor development in mice with K-RAS-induced lung cancer

Authors: Meng Liu, Anna-Karin M. Sjogren, Christin Karlsson, Mohamed Ibrahim, Karin M.E. Andersson, Frida J. Olofsson, Annika M. Wahlstrom, Martin Dalin, Huiming Yu, Zhenggang Chen, Shao H. Yang, Stephen G. Young, and Martin O. Bergo

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>