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!
Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals
21.02.2018 | University of Chicago
The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally
21.02.2018 | Technische Universität München
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
21.02.2018 | Life Sciences
21.02.2018 | Life Sciences
21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences