Researchers headed by Erwin Wagner, the Director of the BBVA Foundation-CNIO Cancer Cell Biology Programme at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), have deciphered how a stress-inducible gene regulator, AP-1, controls the survival of liver tumor-initiating cells. These results, published in the online edition of Nature Cell Biology, could provide new preventive strategies and identify potentially targetable molecules to prevent liver cancer.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) causes more than 500,000 deaths per year worldwide. While patients with chronic hepatitis virus B and C infections or liver cirrhosis are high-risk populations for HCC, measures aiming at preventing HCC development in these patients are limited. In addition, the long-term prognosis after surgical resection of HCC remains poor, due to the high rate of de novo recurrence and the lack of effective preventive therapy.
The critical step for developing effective preventive therapies, but also diagnostic markers and preventive strategies is to identify targetable molecules and pathways responsible for cancer initiation.
Using genetic mouse models specific for liver cancer initiation, researchers have discovered how the stress-inducible AP-1 gene regulator modulates liver tumor cell death in early stages of liver cancer. Mechanistically, AP-1 controls the expression of the epigenetic modulator SIRT6. Subsequently, SIRT6 represses Survivin, which is involved in programmed cell death.
Importantly, altering these proteins in mice even transiently during the initiation stage markedly impaired liver cancer development in mice.
The relevance of these findings was tested in more than 150 human tissue samples collected in patients from Asia and Europe. A clear correlation between these proteins and liver cancer initiation, but not in advanced HCCs, was observed.
These results connect liver cancer initiation with epigenetics and cell death, and give new insights into why patients with metabolic diseases where SIRT6 is important, are at risk of developing of liver cancer.
"Our study provides not only novel implications for the development of preventive therapies for high risk cirrhotic or post-resection patients, but also a new paradigm how one can molecularly dissect cancer initiation using mouse models in combination with the appropriate human samples", states Latifa Bakiri, author of the study.
The study was initiated in Erwin Wagner´s group at the IMP in Vienna and subsequently carried out at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) and at the State Key Laboratory of Cell Biology, in Shanghai China led by Lijian Hui.
The study also involves the participation of clinical researchers at Fudan University in Shanghai and the Medical University of Graz, Austria.
Juan J. Gomez | EurekAlert!
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy