The protein, known as S100PBP, does this by suppressing a second protein called cathepsin Z. The research team has shown that cathepsin Z makes pancreatic cancer cells sticky, allowing them to spread to their surrounding environment. Prior to this study nothing was known about the function of S100PBP in the body or the role that cathepsin Z plays in pancreactic cancer.
The findings, funded by the UK charity, Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund (PCRF), are reported today (26 March 2012) in The American Journal of Pathology.
Lead researcher Dr Tatjana Crnogorac-Jurcevic of Barts Cancer Institute at Queen Mary said: "We believe these findings are significant. A greater understanding of the role these proteins play in the adhesion and spread of pancreatic cancer to other organs, which is almost always the case in this deadly cancer, could help us to develop novel preventive and therapeutic targets."
Pancreatic cancer has the worst five year survival rate of any common cancer – 3 per cent - and this figure has not improved in forty years. With no early diagnostic test available, and symptoms that are often mistaken for less serious conditions, the majority of sufferers are diagnosed too late for surgery - currently the only possible curative option.
The team found that the production of cathepsin Z is regulated by S100PBP. When large quantities of S100PBP are present, less cathepsin Z is produced by the cancer cells, limiting their spread. PhD student and co-author Kate Lines said that the team hopes to secure further funding to progress this line of research: "We're especially keen to find out exactly how S100PBP controls the levels of cathepsin Z, so we can try to prevent its increase in cancer cells".
"Pancreatic cancer is an extremely complex cancer, and these findings add to the growing bank of knowledge regarding the number and roles of proteins involved in its aggressive spread throughout the body. We hope that these newly discovered proteins may ultimately prove to be key in paving the way for new therapies that could make a real difference to patients' prognosis."
Further information from Clare Elsley, Campus PR, tel 0113 357 2100, mob 07767 685168, firstname.lastname@example.org
Queen Mary, University of London Press office, tel 020 7882 3004, email@example.com
Clare Elsley | EurekAlert!
Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria
23.05.2017 | Rice University
Discovery of an alga's 'dictionary of genes' could lead to advances in biofuels, medicine
23.05.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles
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...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.05.2017 | Life Sciences
23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering