Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Cancer gene MYC shown to activate gene involved in metastasis


Study points to importance of pathway in cancer progression

The cancer gene MYC is among the most commonly overexpressed oncogenes in human cancers. Most human cancers demonstrate high levels of MYC or its biological partners, including those of the breast, ovaries, lung, prostate, and skin, as well as leukemias and lymphomas. MYC is a regulator of other genes--a transcription factor--and scientists have been working for more than two decades to identify its target genes in order to understand how MYC causes so many cancers.

Now, scientists at The Wistar Institute have shown that MYC activates a gene called MTA1, which has been demonstrated by other researchers to regulate metastasis in a variety of cancers. While researchers have been exploring the possibility of blocking MTA1 to prevent metastasis, it was not previously known how MTA1 becomes activated in the first place. The study adds to the emerging picture of MYC’s role in cancer development and progression and identifies the pathway linking MYC and MTA1 as an area for further exploration into the genetics of metastasis. The study appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and is available in the journal’s online "Early Edition."

"We and others have been working to understand what genes MYC turns on to cause malignant transformation," says Wistar associate professor Steven B. McMahon, Ph.D., senior author of the study. "Understanding metastasis is critical because patients rarely die of primary tumors--metastasis usually causes cancer deaths. Now, we have linked the well-known oncogene MYC to this target gene, MTA1, a key regulator of metastasis. Most importantly, if we block MYC’s ability to turn on MTA1, we block tumor formation. This is critical because it identifies a point in the metastasis pathway that can be targeted therapeutically."

Like the MYC cancer gene, MTA1 has been shown to play a role in a wide range of cancers, including breast and lung cancers and lymphomas. With the help of Wistar’s genomics facility headed by associate professor Louise C. Showe, Ph.D., McMahon and his colleagues sifted through nearly 10,000 genes before identifying MTA1 as a MYC target.

Among the pressing issues still to be resolved is understanding precisely why MYC’s activation of MTA1 leads to metastasis. In spite of the work still to be done, the first generation of drugs that inhibit MTA1 and its partners is already being developed, and McMahon’s study may inform this work. McMahon’s laboratory at Wistar continues to study other target genes of MYC in order to elucidate more fully how this oncogene acts in such a wide range of cancers.

Marion Wyce | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

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

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>