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 Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>