Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists have identified a switched-off family of genes that may prove to be a significant and early dent in a colon cells anti-cancer armor. The inactivated genes, called SFRPs - for secreted frizzled-related protein - put the brake on a pathway of cell-growth genes that is an early step en route to cancer. Because the way SFRP genes are altered-through the attachment of so-called methyl groups-is reversible, the findings, reported in the March 14 advance online edition of Nature Genetics, also suggest potential anti-cancer value in green tea and other compounds that affect methylation. "SFRP could be a great target for preventing cancer," says Stephen Baylin, M.D., Ludwig Professor of Oncology and director for basic research at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. A cancer cell stops the SFRP genes brake on cell growth by attaching a methyl group to a specific portion of the gene in a process called hypermethylation. Green tea and other compounds are thought to block enzymes that control methylation.
SFRP genes encode proteins that, when secreted on the cells surface, stop a chain reaction of cell growth directed by the WNT gene. WNT stands for "wingless type," which, along with SFRP genes, gets its name from characteristics of fruit flies with mutations in these genes. The WNT gene pathway has long been linked to colon cancer by scientists at the Kimmel Cancer Center and elsewhere.
"Previously, we thought that mutations downstream of the WNT gene were enough to trigger the cell to stay alive, keep growing and develop into a tumor. Our key finding is that the cell also may need to shut off SFRP genes to become cancerous," says Baylin. When Baylins team put SFRPs back into colon cancer cells with inactivated SFRP genes and mutations in the WNT pathway, the cells stopped growing uncontrollably and died.
Vanessa Wasta | EurekAlert!
How cells hack their own genes
24.08.2017 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals
23.08.2017 | American Chemical Society
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
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...
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...
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...
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...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy