Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Potential ovarian cancer oncogene offers possibility of predictive test and a novel therapy

23.08.2005


Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report they have discovered a potential oncogene in ovarian cancer, which is the leading cause of gynecological cancer death in U.S. women.

They say that levels of the protein produced by this suspected oncogene, known as atypical protein kinase C iota (PKCi), in combination with a second protein, Cyclin E, strongly predict outcome in non-serous ovarian cancer, which accounts for 40 percent of ovarian cancer cases. They further report PKCi is over-expressed in serous ovarian cancer, which makes up the remaining 60 percent of ovarian cancer cases.

Based on these findings, published in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the week of Aug. 22, 2005, the researchers suggest that PKCi as well as the second protein, Cyclin E, could be used as a powerful predictive test for non-serous ovarian cancer. They also say that an agent that inhibits PKCi might offer a novel therapy for both forms of the cancer, which is difficult to treat in advanced stages.



This study is the first to find that PKCi plays a role in ovarian cancer, says the study’s principal investigator Gordon Mills, M.D., Ph.D., a professor and chair of the Department of Molecular Therapeutics. More than that, he says, "this is the first direct proof that over-expression of PKCi is sufficient to produce proliferation in ovarian cancer, and thus acts as an oncogene." Mills and the research team, which includes investigators from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Wisconsin, believe that over-expression of PKCi triggers excess production of Cyclin E, which is known to play a role in cancer growth.

PKCi is a member of a family of PKC kinase proteins that regulates cell-to-cell communication and spatial orientation. While some members of this large family have been associated with cancer, PKCi had not before this study. Researchers say that PKCi and Cyclin E together contribute to the aggressiveness of ovarian cancer because high levels of the protein are associated with reduced survival. "This is the strongest predictive combination of markers to determine behavior of ovarian cancer yet found," Mills says.

Studying more than 400 tumor biopsies, they found PKCi over-expression in all samples of serous ovarian cancer, and that elevated levels of PKCi and Cyclin E corresponded to a worsening prognosis in women with non-serous ovarian cancer. Specifically, researchers found that patients with non-serous ovarian cancer whose tumor samples showed low levels of the protein had a chance of long-term survival that was greater than 85 percent. But the chance of long-term survival in patients whose cancer showed high levels of both proteins fell to less than 15 percent.

Mills, who heads M. D. Anderson’s Kleberg Center for Molecular Markers, says the findings represent a case in which "the patient’s tumor is teaching us what is important. "Cancer is a disease of genes," he says. "If we can understand what the genetic aberrations are in cancer, and how they work together to cause a cancer or change its progression, then we can develop better ways of identifying a prognosis, predict response to therapy and identify new targets."

To let the tumor "talk," researchers used a technique known as comparative genomic hybridization which measured changes at the DNA level globally in tumors. It reviewed and compared the human genome in normal versus cancerous cells and found an area of constant genomic change in over 200 samples of ovarian cancer. Further probing found an area on chromosome 3 that was abnormal in the majority of ovarian cancer patients, Mills says.

They identified the PKCi gene as potentially contributing to this change and then turned to a "model organism," the fruit fly, to understand why PKCi could contribute to ovarian cancer. Fruit flies are used in this kind of research, Mills says, because "85 percent of all known human cancer genes have a corresponding gene in these organisms."

Researchers found that in fruit flies, PKCi increased the levels of Cyclin E and cell proliferation. "We then went back to our patient samples and found that those with low levels of PKCi and Cyclin E have a remarkably good outcome, while the opposite is true for higher levels," Mills says. "That offers us both a hope that PKCi can be used as a potent predictive test as well as a possible new way to treat the cancer."

Nancy Jensen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mdanderson.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

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: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum Technology for Advanced Imaging – QUILT

24.04.2018 | Information Technology

AWI researchers measure a record concentration of microplastic in arctic sea ice

24.04.2018 | Earth Sciences

Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled

24.04.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>