Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Deactivating a cancer growth promoter

26.09.2008
Three enzymes called phosphatases that shut down a molecule called SRC-3 (steroid receptor coactivator 3) could provide a new pathway for fighting cancer, particularly tumors of the breast and prostate, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears in the current issue of the journal Molecular Cell.

"This kind of information provides a target for the production of drugs against cancer," said Dr. Bert O'Malley, chair of molecular and cellular biology at BCM. "One can already find drugs that stimulate or inhibit phosphatases in other disease processes."

O'Malley and his colleagues had already determined that SRC-3 is an oncogene or cancer-promoting gene as well as a master switch in the cell. Phosphorylation or adding a phosphate molecule activates its cancer-promoting activities. In this study, the researchers identified three phosphatases that promote removal of the phosphate and thus halt the activity of SRC-3.

Of the three identified, PDXP, PP1, and PP2A, PP1 not only stops SRC-3 activity, it also stops the degradation of the co-activator. SRC-3 then builds up in cells, but without the phosphate, it is a dead molecule that does not function and may even further inhibit tumor growth.

Providing new avenues for fighting cancer is an important outcome of basic science, said O'Malley, who is also associate director for basic research in The Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at BCM. "In cancer right now, many drugs work the same way. They are toxic to all cells. Because the cancer cell grows faster, the drug is more toxic, but there is nothing selective about the process. In the past decade, we have realized that there has to be a better, more intellectual approach to cancer. In fact, some already exist."

For example, the drug Herceptin targets breast cancer cells that carry the protein Her2/neu. Finding drugs that stop the activation of SRC-3, found at high levels in some breast tumors, could provide another avenue of treatment that could target just the cancer cells.

One study, published by Dr. C. Kent Osborne, director of the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at BCM, showed that women whose tumors have both the Her2/neu protein and high levels of SRC-3 are less likely to be helped by drugs such as tamoxifen and more likely to die quickly of their disease. Finding a way to stop Her2/neu and shut down SRC-3 could make the tumor cell's growth controllable, O'Malley said.

Kimberlee Norton | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bcm.edu
http://www.molecule.org
http://www.bcm.edu/fromthelab

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New method to rapidly map the 'social networks' of proteins
27.06.2017 | Salk Institute

nachricht X-ray experiments reveal two different types of water
27.06.2017 | Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

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

Collapse of the European ice sheet caused chaos

27.06.2017 | Earth Sciences

NASA sees quick development of Hurricane Dora

27.06.2017 | Earth Sciences

New method to rapidly map the 'social networks' of proteins

27.06.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>