Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

IU researchers identify key mechanism and potential target to prevent leukemia

14.11.2014

Researchers have identified two proteins that appear crucial to the development -- and patient relapse -- of acute myeloid leukemia. They have also shown they can block the development of leukemia by targeting those proteins.

The studies, in animal models, could lead to new effective treatments for leukemias that are resistant to chemotherapy, said Reuben Kapur, Ph.D., Freida and Albrecht Kipp Professor of Pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine.


Reuben Kapur, Ph.D.

The research was reported today in the journal Cell Reports.

"The issue in the field for a long time has been that many patients relapse even though chemotherapy and other currently available drugs get rid of mature blast cells quite readily," Dr. Kapur said, referring to the cancerous cells that overrun the blood system in leukemia.

"The problem is that the majority of patients relapse because they have remaining residual leukemic stem cells in the bone marrow that are resistant to currently available therapies, including chemotherapy," he said.

Mutations in two cellular structures known as receptors have previously been identified as cancer-causing. Patients with those mutations generally have a poor prognosis, but scientists have been uncertain what mechanism led to leukemia in the stem cells with those mutations.

In the Cell Reports paper, Dr. Kapur, first author Anindya Chatterjee, Ph.D., and their colleagues describe the mechanism that leads to the development of acute myeloid leukemia, identifying two proteins known as FAK and PAK1 as key to the process.

In experiments with mice, the researchers showed that eliminating, or "knocking out," the genes that produce FAK and PAK1 prevented the development of leukemia in mice, even though their bone marrow stem cells contained the cancer-causing receptor mutations. Eliminating the FAK and PAK1 proteins did not prevent the mice from otherwise producing and maintaining a normal blood system, the researchers said.

In additional experiments in mice and human cell tissue samples, the researchers identified several drug compounds that target FAK and PAK1 -- now available for experimental use but not approved for use in humans -- that were just as effective in blocking development of leukemia as knocking out the FAK and PAK1 genes.

The next step is to continue testing and refining those experimental drug compounds to verify their effectiveness for potential testing in human trials, Dr. Kapur said.

Dr. Kapur is director of the program in hematologic malignancies and stem cell biology at the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research and an investigator at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center.

Other researchers contributing to the work were Joydeep Ghosh, Baskar Ramdas, Raghuveer Singh Mali, Holly Martin, Michihiro Kobayashi, Sasidhar Vemula, Victor H. Canela, Emily R. Waskow, H. Scott Boswell, Yan Liu and Rebecca J. Chan of the IU School of Medicine; Valeria Visconte and Ramon V. Tiu of the Cleveland Clinic; Catherine C. Smith and Neil Shah of the University of California, San Francisco; and Kevin D. Bunting of the Emory University School of Medicine.

The research was supported in part by grants from National Institutes of Health (R01HL077177, R01HL081111, R01CA173852 and R01CA134777), and from the Riley Children’s Foundation. Dr. Chatterjee is an American Cancer Society post-doctoral fellow supported by PF13-065-01, and by T32HL007910 from the National Institutes of Health.

Eric Schoch | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://news.medicine.iu.edu/releases/2014/11/kapur-leukemia-stem-cells.shtml

More articles from Life Sciences:

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

nachricht When fish swim in the holodeck
22.08.2017 | University of Vienna

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

Molecular volume control

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

When fish swim in the holodeck

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Biochemical 'fingerprints' reveal diabetes progression

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>