According to the researchers, it is becoming increasingly accepted that changes that do not affect the genetic blueprint or DNA sequence, known as the epigenetic landscape, play a major role in defining the properties of normal as well as the cancer cells. While specific epigenetic alterations have been associated with cancer progression, the molecular mediators that ensure transmission of these reversible alterations to successive tumor cells has been elusive.
The BUSM researchers found that the disruption of TGFâ signaling caused a corresponding decrease in the promoter DNA binding activity of DNA methyl transferase 1 leading to passive demethylation of the newly synthesized DNA resulting in expression of genes that are silenced during breast cancer progression.
"The re-expression of genes that promote cell adhesion in cancer cells upon inhibition of the Smad signaling pathway causes reversal of tumorigenic properties and puts the brakes on cancer progression," said principal investigator, Sam Thiagalingam, PhD, an associate professor of medicine and pathology and a member of the Cancer Research Center at BUSM. "This study may pave the way to discovering other pathways and network of events that are responsible for sustaining epigenetic memory in cancer and cancer stem cells and could lead to the unraveling of effective targets for eradication of tumor cells as well as tumor initiating cells," he added.
"While targeting of TGFâ and TGFâ receptors have been actively pursued for cancer therapy, the current finding may introduce a new spin on the wheel and lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies for late stage breast and other cancers by the direct perturbation of the Smad signaling pathway," explained lead author Panos Papageorgis, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow in the genetics program at BUSM.
Funding for this study was provided by the Susan G. Komen for Cure and the National Institutes of Health.
Gina DiGravio | EurekAlert!
Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
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...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine