New blood cells develop, cells of the intestinal mucosa renew themselves, dead skin cells are replaced - cells continually divide in the human body. If any errors occur in this process, danger is imminent: Diseases can develop, for instance cancer, and that is why the organism controls this complicated process very carefully.
The p53 contains the blueprint for a protein that is essential for a controlled cell division. In general, it is proteins that spur and control a cell division. Their production in the cell, therefore, follows a precise time schedule.
So the genes that provide the parameters for building the proteins must be activated and deactivated again at very specific points in time. "Above all, it must be ensured that these genes are deactivated after the cell division; otherwise, the cell will continue to grow in an uncontrolled manner", says Professor Stefan Gaubatz.
DNA damages bring the p53 protein on the scene
In every cell division, there are certain control points at which the cell checks the proper sequence of the division, detects any damage done and repairs it. If the DNA has been damaged, the p53 protein comes on the scene: It ensures that from a major protein complex called LINC, a part that carries the designation B-MYB detaches. The remaining part of the complex then silences genes that promote the cell growth. The cell in turn slows down its growth and thus gains enough time to repair the damages. It is this mechanism that has been elucidated by the study group of Stefan Gaubatz.
Without p53, defects accumulate
In many cancer cells, the p53 has mutated and thus lost its function. "The tumour cells can no longer completely stop the cell cycle then", the Würzburg researcher explains. This makes them sloppy and hasty: Defects in the DNA are not repaired, but the cell division proceeds. Damages accumulate and may make the tumour more and more difficult to treat. It is also conceivable that this mechanism triggers carcinogenesis in the first place.
What exactly happens in cancer cells with mutated p53? The Gaubatz team has found out with the help of cell cultures: Even if the DNA gets damaged in the cell division process, the composition of the major LINC protein complex remains unchanged - the B-MYB protein part no longer detaches. Then the researchers, by way of experiment, made sure that this step did take place nevertheless. The result: The cancer cells were able to stop the cell division process again.
Next steps in research
The next steps now consist in verifying this effect in animal models. In addition, the scientists want to investigate more closely how B-MYB and the protein complex are regulated. From their research work, they ultimately expect new approaches for improved cancer treatment.
The Munich-based Wilhelm-Sander foundation supports the project, and so does the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft within the scope of the Transregio SFB TR17 (Ras-dependent pathways in human cancer).
For further information
Prof. Dr. Stefan Gaubatz, Lehrstuhl für Physiologische Chemie I, University of Würzburg, phone ++49 931 31-84138, email@example.com
"B-MYB is required for recovery from the DNA damage-induced G2 checkpoint in p53 mutant cells", Mirijam Mannefeld, Elena Klassen, Stefan Gaubatz, Cancer Research, 2009, 69 (9), pp. 4073-4080, doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-4156
Robert Emmerich | idw
New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources
29.05.2017 | DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology)
Copper hydroxide nanoparticles provide protection against toxic oxygen radicals in cigarette smoke
29.05.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
29.05.2017 | Statistics