Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cancer research: Enzyme inhibition with a surprise

29.01.2016

In many tumours specific enzymes involved in regulating gene activity are heavily mutated. What effect could that have? Cell researchers from the University of Würzburg have looked into this question.

Matthias Becker and Professor Albrecht Müller, two molecular biologists from the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) in Germany, are interested in the group of so-called KDM6 enzymes. These enzymes are very frequently mutated in bladder cancer, leukaemia and other cancer types so that they no longer function correctly.


Inhibition of KDM6 enzymes causes embryo-like cell structures to die. A comet assay shows that inhibition causes accumulated DNA damages: The bigger the "tail" around a cell, the greater the damage.

(Picture: Matthias Becker)

How exactly the mutations work inside the cancer cells is still unknown. But the Würzburg scientists have found first hints: The mutations seem to contribute to accumulating DNA damages.

All KDM6 enzymes inhibited

This finding has been made in experiments conducted by Christine Hofstetter, Becker's former doctoral student. The biologist inhibited the activity of all KDM6 enzymes in embryonic stem cells of mice and in embryo-like structures. The latter are spherical structures consisting of several hundred cells that cannot develop into an organism.

The embryo-like structures died as a result of enzyme inhibition. The JMU researchers detected massive accumulations of DNA damages in their cells. Surprisingly, these effects did not occur in the embryonic stem cells: Neither the gene activity nor the cells' ability to survive changed.

"We conclude from our results that there is a fundamental difference when treating DNA damages in stem cells and in the differentiated cells evolving from them," Becker says. The molecular biologists now intend to study this difference in more detail.

Published in the Journal of Cell Science

The detailed findings have been published in the Journal of Cell Science: Inhibition of KDM6 activity during murine ES cell differentiation induces DNA damage, Christine Hofstetter, Justyna M. Kampka, Sascha Huppertz, Heike Weber, Andreas Schlosser, Albrecht M. Müller, Matthias Becker, Journal of Cell Science 2016, DOI 10.1242/jcs.175174

The work was conducted within the scope of focal programme 1463 "Epigenetic Regulation of normal hematopoiesis and its dysregulation in myeloid neoplasia" funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG).

Facts about KDM6 enzymes

The investigated KDM6 enzymes are lysine-specific demetyhlases 6. In "normal mode", they remove methylations at the amino acid lysine 27 of histone H3, causing genes to be activated. Histones are proteins that package and order the DNA inside the cell nucleus. Moreover, they influence gene activity in the individual sections of the DNA.

Contact

Dr. Matthias Becker, Institut für Medizinische Strahlenkunde und Zellforschung, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU), Bavaria, Germany, Phone +49 931 201-45851, matthias.becker@uni-wuerzburg.de

Robert Emmerich | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Further information:
http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>