Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Newly discovered regulatory mechanism essential for embryo development and may contribute to cancer

29.10.2010
Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have identified a mechanism controlling the function of a protein that binds to DNA during embryonic development and may function to prevent abnormal tumor growth.

When the protein, TCF3, is modified by a small molecule called a phosphate, it no longer binds DNA, changing the way the protein signals during development. This discovery identifies a new diagnostic marker (phosphorylated TCF3) that may be associated with cancer and could represent a potential drug target. The results are published in the current issue of Developmental Cell.

Led by Sergei Sokol, PhD, Professor of Developmental and Regenerative Biology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the research team analyzed frog embryos to get a better understanding of how cells "talk" to each other and differentiate into various cell types, e.g., neurons or muscle cells. One such way these cells communicate is through signaling proteins called Wnts, which function during embryonic development and malfunction in cancer, including colon carcinomas, melanomas, skin, lung and liver tumors. Dr. Sokol's team analyzed what happens when a cell responds to Wnt protein..

The researchers' results suggest that Wnt signal activates a special enzyme, called homeodomain-interacting protein kinase that adds a phosphate group to TCF3. This event changes the activity of TCF3 and activates gene expression during early development, allowing embryonic tissues to develop tail structures. Although essential in the early embryo, the same process can cause tumor formation in the adult.

"Our study is the first to show an alternative mechanism of Wnt signaling, that operates in vivo to modulate the activity of TCF3," said Dr. Sokol. "We now know that this change in TCF3 activity leads to a profound alteration of target genes that are important in early development and are abnormally regulated in cancer."

These data potentially provide a diagnostic or therapeutic target in identifying and treating common types of cancer. If the presence of the phosphate molecule on TCF3 is identified, then the cancer may be caught earlier, providing more treatment options. Additionally, knowing that this modification of TCF3 may cause abnormal cell growth would allow researchers to develop drugs that can inhibit its action.

"While more research is needed, our study is a promising first step toward earlier diagnosis and better treatment for many common cancers," said Dr. Sokol. "We look forward to gaining further understanding of the role of TCF regulation for gene expression."

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of few medical schools embedded in a hospital in the United States. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 15 institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institute of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report. The school received the 2009 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks The Mount Sinai Hospital among the nation's best hospitals based on reputation, patient safety, and other patient-care factors. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 530,000 outpatient visits took place.

For more information, visit www.mountsinai.org. Follow us on Twitter @mountsinainyc.

Mount Sinai Press Office | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mountsinai.org

Further reports about: DNA Medical Wellness Medicine Tcf3 cell type signaling protein

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Designed proteins to treat muscular dystrophy
29.06.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Funding of Collaborative Research Center developing nanomaterials for cancer immunotherapy extended
28.06.2017 | 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: 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

High conductive foils enabling large area lighting

29.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Designed proteins to treat muscular dystrophy

29.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Climate Fluctuations & Non-equilibrium Statistical Mechanics: An Interdisciplinary Dialog

29.06.2017 | Seminars Workshops

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>