Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Keeping the Kraken asleep: inhibiting CDK6 prevents leukemic relapse

27.01.2015

Despite enormous progress in cancer therapy, many patients still relapse because their treatment addresses the symptoms of the disease rather than the cause, the so-called stem cells. Work in the group of Veronika Sexl at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna has given a tantalizing clue to a solution. In the current issue of Blood, the scientists report that the cell-cycle kinase CDK6 is required for activation of the stem cells responsible for causing leukemia.

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are normally inactive, i.e. quiescent. When new blood cells are needed, for example to replace blood that has been lost, HSCs start to multiply and develop into mature blood cells. If the process is initiated at an inappropriate time, hematopoietic diseases such as leukemia may result and leukemic stem cells may develop.


CDK6 is needed for leukemic stem cell activation (left). When CDK6 is absent, the LSC remains in a quiescent state and leukemia formation is prohibited (right).

Angelika Berger / Vetmeduni Vienna

These represent a major challenge to leukemia therapy: they are quiescent and thus protected from elimination by the immune system and from treatment such as chemotherapy. Leukemic stem cells frequently cause relapse in cancer patients, often years or even decades after an apparently successful treatment.

Working with stem cells isolated from mice, Ruth Scheicher and colleagues at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna have investigated possible differences between leukemic stem cells and the healthy stem cells in the body.

They looked in particular at the function of the CDK6 protein, which is known to be involved in controlling the cell cycle. Surprisingly, CDK6 was also found to regulate the activation of hematopoietic and leukemic stem cells, which it does by inhibiting the transcription factor Egr1. Upon loss of CDK6, Egr1 becomes active and prevents stem cells from dividing.

In a further twist to the tale, the mechanism operates only when hematopoietic stem cells are stressed, e.g. in leukemia, and not in the normal physiological situation.

Scheicher is quick to note the significance of her finding. “CDK6 is absolutely necessary for leukemic stem cells to induce disease but plays no part in normal hematopoiesis. We thus have a novel opportunity to target leukemia at its origin. Inhibiting CDK6 should attack leukemic stem cells while leaving healthy HSCs unaffected”.

Service:

The article ‘CDK6 as a key regulator of hematopoietic and leukemic stem cell activation’ by Scheicher R, Hoelbl-Kovacic A, Bellutti F, Tigan AS, Prchal-Murphy M, Heller G, Schneckenleithner C, Salazar-Roa M, Zöchbauer-Müller S, Zuber J, Malumbres M, Kollmann K and Sexl V. was published in the journal Blood.
http://www.bloodjournal.org/content/125/1/90.long?sso-checked=true

About the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
The University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna in Austria is one of the leading academic and research institutions in the field of Veterinary Sciences in Europe. About 1,300 employees and 2,300 students work on the campus in the north of Vienna which also houses five university clinics and various research sites. Outside of Vienna the university operates Teaching and Research Farms. http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at

Scientific Contact:
Prof. Veronika Sexl
Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)
T +43 1 25077-2910
veronika.sexl@vetmeduni.ac.at

Released by:
Susanna Kautschitsch
Science Communication / Public Relations
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)
T +43 1 25077-1153
susanna.kautschitsch@vetmeduni.ac.at

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at/en/infoservice/presseinformation/press-releases-2015/...

Dr. Susanna Kautschitsch | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>