Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A gene that protects against colorectal cancers

15.12.2011
The research team at Lyon has developed an animal model carrying a mutation of the DCC gene. Mice carrying the mutation develop tumours, because this gene can no longer induce the death of the cancer cells. This discovery could lead to the development of a new targeted cancer treatment that aims to reactivate the dying of cancer cells.

The results of this study have been published as a Letter in the 11th December 2011 issue of the journal Nature.

The team led by Patrick Mehlen, Director of the DEVweCAN 'Laboratory of Excellence' at the Lyon Cancer Research Centre (CNRS/Inserm/Centre Léon Bérard/Université Claude Bernard 1), studies the cell death process (apoptosis) and, in particular, the mechanism that makes the cells understand that they should initiate a self-destruction process when they become abnormal. Patrick Mehlen's team suggested that this mechanism could operate via sentinels located on the surface of cells, which examine their environment. The scientists named these sentinels 'dependence receptors'.

The research team focused on this concept of 'dependence receptors'. When a cell receptor is associated with its ligand, the classic message indicates 'all is well', and leads to cell survival. On the other hand, when the receptor is deprived of its ligand, it can send a message leading to cell death. This mechanism is also called 'apoptosis.' When this is applied to cancer research, the absence of ligands could cause the death of cancer cells that proliferate in an anarchic manner.

In this study, Patrick Mehlen's team shows that the DCC gene (Deleted Colorectal Cancer), which codes for a 'dependence receptor', protects the organism from the onset of cancer by causing the death of cells that become cancerous. The researchers used a mouse model where the DCC gene has been genetically modified. The mutation of this dependence receptor prevents the induction of apoptosis. When the DCC gene is eliminated by mutation, the mouse spontaneously develops colon cancer.

'The organism is naturally protected from the development of cancers thanks to the presence of this tumour-suppressing gene. Unfortunately, certain cancer cells escape from this control by blocking this 'dependence receptor' mechanism. That is how we know that the DCC gene is extinguished in most human cancers,' explains Patrick Mehlen.

In the near future, this research work could lead to a new targeted treatment that aims to reactivate the death of the cancer cells to destroy breast cancer, lung cancer, etc. 'Our group has developed several candidate drugs that reactivate the cell death induced by the DCC receptor in animal models, and we hope to be able to carry out human clinical testing of these candidate drugs in three years' time,' concludes Patrick Mehlen.

Patrick Mehlen's work will be supported via the Liliane Bettencourt Schueller Life Sciences Prize, which he has just won. The prize will be awarded on 15th December 2011. To visit the Foundation's website: http://www.fondationbs.org/

Sources

DCC constrains tumour progression via its dependence receptor activity Marie Castets1, Laura Broutier1, Yann Molin1, Marie Brevet2, Guillaume Chazot1, Nicolas Gadot2, Armelle Paquet2, Laetitia Mazelin1, Loraine Jarrosson-Wuilleme1, Jean-Yves Scoazec2, AgnesBernet1 & Patrick Mehlen1

1 Apoptosis, Cancer and Development Laboratory - Equipe labellisée 'La Ligue', LabEx DEVweCAN, Centre de Cancérologie de Lyon, INSERM U1052-CNRS UMR5286, Université de Lyon, Centre Léon Bérard, 69008 Lyon, France.

2 Endocrine Differentiation Laboratory, Centre de Cancérologie de Lyon, INSERM U1052-CNRS UMR5286, Université de Lyon, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Hôpital Edouard Herriot, Anatomie Pathologique, 69437 Lyon, France.

Nature, 11 décembre 2011doi:10.1038/nature10708

Inserm Presse | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.inserm.fr

Further reports about: Cancer Cancérologie DCC Inserm cancer cells cell death

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>