The cell-surface associated molecule Cripto is overexpressed in a wide range of epithelial cancers, yet little is known about the potential mechanisms by which Cripto expression might enhance tumor growth. A new study by Michele Sanicola and colleagues at Biogen Inc. in the August 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation reveals that binding of Cripto to the TGFbeta ligand Activin B can block Activin B-mediated suppression of cell proliferation. Furthermore, this study also demonstrates that antibody blockade of Cripto function may prove useful in the inhibition of tumorigenesis.
Cripto was first discovered 15 years ago and was suitably named for its mysterious lack of relationship to known proteins and signaling pathways. Since then Cripto has been shown to play an essential role in embryonic development. It has also been shown to act as a coreceptor for Nodal, a member of the TGFbeta family. Cripto appears to recruit Nodal to the Activin receptor complex to mediate transcriptional responses. However there remains no explanation for the widespread overexpression of Cripto in human epithelial cancers. In attempting to determine whether Cripto activity is essential for tumor growth and/or maintenance, and what role, if any, that Nodal plays in this interaction, Sanicola and colleagues have revealed that Activin signaling can be blocked by Cripto overexpression in many cell types. They go on demonstrate that monoclonal antibodies specific for Cripto are capable of inhibiting tumor cell growth in models of testicular and colon cancer, and that this correlates with the ability to inhibit Activin signaling.
The study suggests that Cripto overexpression may play an early role in cancer progression through the inhibition of the tumor supressing effects of Activin. In an accompanying commentary, Michael Shen from the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Piscataway, New Jersey, discusses some of the proposed mechanisms of this inhibition. "The exciting finding that antibody blockade of Cripto has a strong effect in xenograft models indicates that Cripto functions in a central pathway for cell proliferation and/or maintenance of the transformed state. While much more analysis is needed to decode the molecular mechanisms of Cripto function, the work now provides a glimmer of understanding as to the functions of this enigmatic protein in tumorigenesis".
Programming cells with computer-like logic
27.07.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics
27.07.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
27.07.2017 | Life Sciences
27.07.2017 | Life Sciences
27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine