Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers locate tumor-suppressor gene in fruit flies that controls cell production, death

16.07.2003


UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas researchers have discovered a tumor-suppressor gene that, in fruit flies, simultaneously restricts cell proliferation and promotes cell death, a process that may also play an important role in the genesis of cancer in humans.



Removal of the gene, hippo, resulted in tumor formation in every organ of the fruit fly. The findings, which are currently online, will appear in an upcoming issue of Cell.

"This is one of the few genes that has been discovered that directly controls two pathways, cell proliferation and cell apoptosis, or cell death," said Dr. Duojia Pan, assistant professor of physiology and senior author of the study. "Sustained growth of cancer cells requires activation of the cell proliferation machinery and suppression of a system called the apoptotic failsafe mechanism. The combination of suppressed cell death and deregulated cell production is likely a key element in cancer."


The researchers identified hippo by screening the fruit fly, or drosophila, genome for mutations that promoted abnormal tissue growth.

To determine the relationship between hippo and a similar protein found in humans, the researchers replaced the tumor-suppressor gene in fruit flies with a protein in humans called MST2. This resulted in the reduction of tumors in the fruit flies, leading researchers to hypothesize that MST2 plays a similar role in human-tumor suppression.

"We hypothesize that this protein (MST2) may be inactivated in some humans, causing the onset of tumor growth. Tumor suppression is important in humans because it is required to restrict abnormal growth of tissues," said Dr. Pan, the Virginia Murchison Linthicum Scholar in Medical Research.

The researchers report also that hippo is linked to two other tumor-suppressing genes, Salvador and warts.

"These three tumor-suppression genes may define a tumor suppression pathway that coordinately regulates cell proliferation and apoptosis," Dr. Pan said. "This pathway may also be involved in the formation of tumors in mammals."

Current research suggests that the human counterpart of Salvador is mutated in several cancer-cell lines.

"Our findings will stimulate investigations of this tumor suppression pathway in human cancers," Pan added.

By studying fruit flies, scientists have the ability to perform more experiments than in human studies because the fruit fly genome is easily mutated. Fruit flies carry approximately 70 percent of the same disease genes as humans.

Dr. Pan is currently studying three other tumor-suppressor genes, including PTEN, Tuberous Sclerosis 1(TSC1) and Tuberous Sclerosis 2 (TSC2). These genes have previously been identified as tumor-suppressor genes in humans.

Other researchers on the study were Drs. Jixin Dong, Jianbin Huang, and Shian Wu, all postdoctoral researchers in physiology.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.


###

Amy Shields | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.swmed.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Programming cells with computer-like logic
27.07.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics
27.07.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Programming cells with computer-like logic

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period

27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>