Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UIC researchers pinpoint genes involved in cancer growth

22.07.2003


In a study made possible by the sequencing of the human genome, scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago have identified 57 genes involved in the growth of human tumor cells.



Some of these genes appear to be linked with the growth of cancerous cells only - not healthy cells - making them possible targets for new drugs that could halt the spread of disease without necessarily compromising normal processes.

The research relied on a strategy pioneered in the laboratory of Igor Roninson, distinguished professor of molecular genetics in the UIC College of Medicine. The strategy involves cutting human DNA into tiny, random fragments, inserting the fragments into a mammalian cell using a vector, or delivery vehicle, and inducing them to express their genetic information.


Some of the fragments prove to be biologically active by interfering with the function of the genes from which they are derived.

In the new study, certain fragments inhibited the multiplication of breast cancer cells by shutting down the genes necessary for cell growth. The experiment enabled researchers in Roninson’s laboratory, led by research assistant professor Thomas Primiano, to locate 57 genes involved in cell proliferation.

They identified the genes by matching the growth-inhibiting fragments with sequences in the human genome.

"Our strategy was validated by the fact that more than half of the genes we identified were already known to play key roles in the growth of cells or the development of cancers," Roninson said. "Many of the other genes, however, were not previously known to be involved in cell division and proliferation. In fact, the functions of some of these genes were entirely unknown."

Analysis of animal studies conducted by other investigators allowed Roninson’s group to determine which genes were likely involved in the growth of tumor cells but not normal cells. In so-called "knockout" mice, 20 of the genes the scientists identified as essential for the growth of breast cancer cells had previously been disabled.

Lacking any of six of these genes, the animals died in utero. But mice missing any of the other 14 genes matured to adulthood, suffering only limited problems in specific organs.

"Obviously, the best drug targets would be genes that are needed only by cancer cells," Roninson said.

One of the genes the UIC researchers identified manufactures a protein found on the cell surface called L1-CAM, which is involved in the development of the nervous system and was not previously known to play a role in cancer cell growth.

Using antibodies to L1-CAM to disturb its function, the researchers stopped the growth of breast, colon and cervical cancer cells in a petri dish, but left unimpaired the growth of normal breast tissue cells and fibroblasts, which make up connective tissue.

This final experiment, Roninson said, confirmed the value of his team’s study.

"One of the main reasons for sequencing the human genome was the hope that this knowledge would help scientists find molecular targets for new and better medicines," Roninson said. "The genes we have identified clearly have the potential to serve as targets for novel therapeutics in the fight against cancer."

Other UIC researchers involved in the study were Mirza Baig, Anil Maliyekkel, Bey-Dih Chang, Stacey Fellars and Justin Sadhu. The UIC team collaborated with scientists Sergey Axenovich and Tatyana Holzmayer at PPD Discovery, Inc.

Sharon Butler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uic.edu
http://www.uic.edu/depts/mcam

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

nachricht How protein islands form
15.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

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

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>