Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

CSHL scientists identify and repress breast cancer stem cells in mouse tissue

19.12.2007
An approach based on the manipulation of microRNAs

By manipulating highly specific gene-regulating molecules called microRNAs, scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) report that they have succeeded in singling out and repressing stem-like cells in mouse breast tissue – cells that are widely thought to give rise to cancer.

“If certain forms of breast cancer do indeed have their origin in wayward stem cells, as we believe to be the case, then it is critical to find ways to selectively attack that tumor-initiating population,” said Gregory Hannon, Ph.D., CSHL professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Hannon also is head of a lab focusing on small-RNA research at CSHL and corresponding author of a paper reporting the new research, published in the latest issue of Genes and Development.

“We have shown that a microRNA called let-7, whose expression has previously been associated with tumor suppression, can be delivered to a sample of breast-tissue cells, where it can help us to distinguish stem-like tumor-initiating cells from other, more fully developed cells in the sample. Even more exciting, we found that by expressing let-7 in the sample, we were able to attack and essentially eliminate, very specifically, just that subpopulation of potentially dangerous progenitor cells.”

... more about:
»CSHL »Hannon »MicroRNA »progenitor »sample »stem-like

The study was done in collaboration with Senthil Muthuswamy Ph.D., an expert in breast cancer research who heads a CSHL lab focusing on understanding the changes in the biology of breast epithelial cells during the initiation and progression of cancer. Dr. Muthuswamy emphasized that a key ingredient that made this study successful is the use of a mouse breast-derived model cell system called COMMA-1D that not only includes differentiated cells but also stem-like progenitors, in varying stages of maturity, or differentiation.

Unexpected Impact of Conventional Chemotherapy

No therapies currently exist that target stem-like tumor-initiating cells, whose existence in diverse tissues including breast, lung, brain and colon, as well as in the blood, has been demonstrated in a line of research stretching back to 2001. In that year, John E. Dick of the University of Toronto identified cancer stem cells in the blood of leukemia patients.

The cancer stem cell hypothesis is controversial, in part, because of the challenge it represents for current cancer therapy, which regards all tumor cells as potentially capable of spreading the disease, and which seeks to reduce tumor mass and destroy the maximum possible number of tumor cells. In the cancer stem cell hypothesis, reduction of tumor volume alone will not suffice if the stem cells which originally gave rise to the cancer are not specifically targeted and destroyed.

The new Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory research not only suggests one possible way of accomplishing this therapeutic goal – the Hannon lab is initiating a demonstration study in mice – but it also demonstrated that one component of a chemotherapy cocktail currently used as first-line therapy against certain kinds of breast cancer has the potential to actually enrich the subpopulation of stem-like cells that serve as cancer progenitors.

“We found that administration of cyclophosphamide in our mouse cell sample had the effect of enriching for these cells,” Hannon said, “which suggests that we need to look carefully at these therapies in model systems to see if the effects we see in cell culture are mirrored in real tumors – and then, to gauge what effect that has on metastasis and relapse following therapy.”

It has been known for some time that stem and progenitor cells possess unique defenses, as compared with mature, or differentiated cells, which, unlike their stem-like “mothers” do not have the capacity to renew themselves or to generate multiple cell-types. Stem cells, for instance, are thought to be able to “pump” toxins out of their cellular domain, much as do fully differentiated tumor cells that have developed resistance to chemotherapy.

Jim Bono | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cshl.edu

Further reports about: CSHL Hannon MicroRNA progenitor sample stem-like

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
21.04.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>