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 Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells
22.08.2017 | National University Health System

nachricht Biochemical 'fingerprints' reveal diabetes progression
22.08.2017 | Umea University

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

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>