Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study suggests protein may be early warning for ovarian cancer

12.08.2005


Penn State College of Medicine researchers have found a signal that could lead to earlier detection and treatment of ovarian cancer.



The Penn State team of scientists led by principal investigator Kathleen M. Mulder, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology, and working in conjunction with a researcher from the Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., studied "km23," a protein that helps to direct protein traffic in the cell. Mulder’s team has found that at least 42 percent of ovarian cancer patient tumor tissues have alterations in km23. No similar alterations in km23 were detectable in normal human tissues, suggesting that it may be both a diagnostic indicator for the development of ovarian cancer and a possible target for cancer therapies. "While only close to half of ovarian cancer patients may have defects in km23, our results are still highly significant because there is no clinically useful screening test available for detection of ovarian cancer," said Mulder.

Additional studies are under way to continue the analyses of km23 abnormalities in specimens from women with ovarian cancer, and to determine whether different km23 alterations exist in other solid tumors, such as breast and colon cancer. "The next step is to develop a screening test for early detection of the km23 alterations in the blood of ovarian cancer patients," Mulder said. In addition, studies are under way to develop drugs that would target km23 and override the defects caused by the km23 alterations in the cancer cells. "The plan is to be able to use the screening test to identify those patients who would benefit from the anti-cancer drugs we will be developing using km23 as the target," Mulder said. "In the pharmaceutical industry, this is often referred to as ’personalized medicine,’ meaning that each patient can be checked for alterations in specific genes and their treatment targeted for the alterations specific to their cancer."


Epithelial ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at an advanced stage and accounts for more than 164,000 deaths annually. Despite advances in surgical techniques and chemotherapy, overall survival rates for women with ovarian cancer have not improved significantly because of late detection, often after the disease has already spread to remote organs. The identification of a potential early warning signal and a possible therapeutic target for the disease could lead to improved survival rates.

km23 is responsible, in part, for the movement of cellular proteins along microtubules, the "highways" of the cell. The cellular proteins, or "cargo," are actually driven along the microtubules by "motors" in the cell. km3 helps to connect the right cargo to the motor so that the cargo can reach its appropriate destination.

In a previous study, Mulder and her team found that the process is initiated by the binding of a factor called "TGFâ" to receptors on the cell’s surface. This, in turn, sends a signal to km23 telling it to attach to the motor and pick up the cargo. When km23 is altered, the cargo doesn’t reach the correct destination in the cell. As a result, a traffic jam occurs, which causes chaos in the cell.

This latest study, titled "A TGFâ receptor-interacting protein frequently mutated in human ovarian cancer," was published in the Aug. 1 issue of Cancer Research, http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/.

The initiator of the journey, TGFâ, has been the focus of Mulder’s research program since 1988.

"TGFâ is a critical regulator of cell growth and is present throughout the body," she said. "It is already known to play an important role in suppressing the growth of epithelial cells, the type of cell that gives rise to solid tumors. When the appropriate signals are not sent by TGFâ, the growth of epithelial cells will not be controlled and a solid tumor can form. The alterations in km23 appear to disrupt some of the normal signals sent by TGFâ."

"The km23 alterations we have identified in human ovarian tumor tissues, described in our recent report, might also be used as prognostic indicators to help physicians decide on the most appropriate treatment for each patient," Mulder said.

Sean Young | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>