Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Findings offer clue to how molecule can both stimulate, suppress cell growth

04.12.2003


Study provides insight into role of TGF-beta in cancer development, progression



Scientists are puzzled by the fact that the molecule known as transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-b) generally stops cells from multiplying but at other times promotes cell growth.

Dr. Hal Moses, director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, and his lab identified TGF-b in 1985 as both a growth stimulator and growth suppressor. Since that time, its role in colon, breast and other cancers has been studied extensively at Vanderbilt and elsewhere.


Now a team of researchers at Vanderbilt-Ingram has found a clue to the seemingly contradictory biological actions of TGF-b. Their findings are published online this week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (www.pnas.org) and is expected to appear in the print version later this month.

"TGF-b usually causes cell growth inhibition; however, many solid tumors over-express TGF-b and the cells aren’t inhibited at all – in fact, sometimes they grow faster than normal as a result of TGF-b signaling," said Neil A. Bhowmick, Ph.D., assistant professor of Urologic Surgery and senior author on the paper. "Many researchers have studied the ways in which TGF-b suppresses cell growth but not many have examined how it promotes cell growth."

The researchers studied normal cells lines whose growth was inhibited by TGF-b -- the process was working properly – as well as cell lines whose growth was stimulated by TGF-b.

TGF-b uses multiple signaling pathways to get its instructions to the cell’s nucleus – at least four pathways that are known, and there are probably more, Bhowmick said.

In the inhibited cells, the researchers removed particular protein components in one of these known TGF-b signaling pathways called Rho-ROCK. The cells were no longer inhibited and instead began growing again.

Then they did the opposite, adding the protein components to cells whose growth was being stimulated by TGF-b to see if their growth would be arrested again – that is, if normal TGF-b function would be restored by restoring the pathway. "Lo and behold, that’s exactly what happened," Bhowmick said.

The findings suggest that the Rho-ROCK signaling pathway, traditionally known for its involvement in cell differentiation and defining cell shape, plays a key role in TGF-b inhibition of cell growth. "Perhaps inactivation of this pathway is a way that cancer cells override the normal growth-suppressing activity of TGF-b," Bhowmick said.

More work is needed to fully understand the implications, but the findings also suggest a potential target for therapeutic intervention to restore TGF-b’s ability to inhibit cell growth, he said.

Bhowmick’s co-authors on the paper were Mayshan Ghiassi, Mary Aakre, Kimberly Brown, Vikas Singh and Moses, members of the department of Cancer Biology and the Frances Williams Preston Laboratories, supported by the T.J. Martell Foundation at Vanderbilt-Ingram.


The work was supported by the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Cancer Institute and the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Tennessee and one of only 38 in the United States. This designation is the highest awarded by the NCI, one of the National Institutes of Health and world’s foremost authority on cancer. It recognizes excellence in all aspects of cancer research, the development of innovative new therapies and a demonstrated commitment to the community through education, information and outreach. For more information, visit www.vicc.org.

Cynthia Floyd Manley | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vicc.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>