The white blood cells in our body combat foreign intruders, such as viruses and bacteria. However, in leukemia, the formation of white blood cells is disturbed: the cells that should develop into white blood cells multiply out of control without fully maturing. This process disrupts the production of normal blood cells, making patients more susceptible to infections.
T-ALL, a particular form of leukemia, is the most prevalent cancer in children under 14 years of age and occurs predominantly between the ages of two and three. At the moment, with an optimal treatment using chemotherapy, over half of the children are cured. But scientists hope to be able to develop targeted therapies that are less toxic than chemotherapy, based on knowledge of the biological processes behind T-ALL.
Importance of the location
Oncogenes are often at the root of cancer. So, scientists around the world are concentrating on identifying oncogenes and their related proteins. Recent research by Kim De Keersmaecker and colleagues in Jan Cools’ research group (VIB-K.U.Leuven) indicates that the location in the cell where these proteins are found plays an important role in the entire carcinogenic mechanism. In collaboration with Maarten Fornerod (Nederlands Kanker Instituut, Amsterdam) and Gary Gilliland (Harvard Medical School, Boston), the VIB researchers have demonstrated that NUP214-ABL1, a fusion of two proteins, is carcinogenic only when it is in a protein complex near the nucleus of the cell. Located at another place in the cell, NUP214-ABL1 does not lead to cancer. This finding sheds new light on the study of carcinogenic processes.
A new therapeutic approach?
Many forms of cancer are caused by genetic defects in which a certain kinase becomes too active - and this is the case with NUP214-ABL1. The most obvious solution is to make the carcinogenic kinase inactive, and so kinase inhibitors are usually used to combat these kinds of cancers. However, the carcinogenic kinase often becomes resistant to these inhibitors - which is certainly true for T-ALL. So, scientists are actively seeking alternative approaches.
De Keersmaecker’s recent research results now offer a possibility. Indeed, the scientists have shown in cells that NUP214-ABL1 is no longer carcinogenic when it cannot bind with the protein complex in the vicinity of the cell nucleus. On the basis of these results, the researchers want to further investigate the therapeutic possibilities of compounds that render binding between the complex and NUP214-ABL1 impossible. This study also indicates that the location of proteins can play an important role in other forms of cancer/leukemia as well.
Joke Comijn | alfa
At last, butterflies get a bigger, better evolutionary tree
16.02.2018 | Florida Museum of Natural History
New treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease from the animal kingdom
16.02.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
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...
Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).
Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
16.02.2018 | Information Technology
16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy