Wnt proteins are a large family of proteins that active signaling pathways (a set of biological reactions in a cell) to control several vital steps in embryonic development. In adults, Wnt-mediated functions are frequently altered in many types of cancers and, specifically, within cell subpopulations that possess stem cell-like properties.
In two studies, one in the recent issue of the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology and a second, published earlier this year in Science Signaling, D'Souza-Schorey's laboratory reports on the importance of the protein "ARF6" in Wnt signaling.
The best documented role of Wnt is its triggering of the canonical (idealized or generalized) signaling pathway that leads to the stabilization of a protein called beta-catenin. This in turn leads to activation of various target genes that result in changes in a wide spectrum of cell behaviors.
"We have had a long standing interest in understanding the role of ARF6 in cell behavior," D'Souza-Schorey said. "ARF6 is an interesting molecule at the nexus of several important cell-signaling pathways. Our interest in this line of investigation has only been heightened by emerging reports from many labs that ARF6 activity is dramatically increased in several cancers. In our most recent study, we show how ARF6 can propagate Wnt signaling leading to proliferative phenotypes that are frequently seen in epithelial tumors (a growth of irregularly-shaped cells on the outer membrane of an organ or gland)."
In the paper published in Science Signaling, the laboratory collaborated with researchers at the University of Utah to document the importance of ARF6-regulated activation of canonical Wnt signaling in the spread of melanoma. The study showed that a small molecule that prevents ARF6 activation could stop tumor invasion and the spread of the cancer.
"The relevance of Wnt signaling in human cancers in manifest by the frequency with which this pathway is aberrantly activated across a wide range of malignancies," D'Souza-Schorey said. "Given the number of Wnts, Wnt signaling has been difficult to target therapeutically. It is important to note that while there are many mechanisms that drive aberrant Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in diverse cancers, these different mechanisms nearly always occur in a mutually exclusive manner. Thus, a better understanding of mechanisms involved in Wnt signaling transduction offers several target molecules for cancer drug development."
Notre Dame graduate students James Clancy, Oscar Pellon-Cardenas, Alanna Sedgwick and Henriette Uwimphuwe were co-authors on the two studies from D'Souza-Schorey's laboratory.
Crislyn D'Souza-Schorey | EurekAlert!
Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo
Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals
23.05.2018 | Brown University
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy