Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Malignant cancer cells generate mice through cloning

03.08.2004


Nature can reset the clock in certain types of cancer and reverse many of the elements responsible for causing malignancy, reports a research team led by Whitehead Institute Member Rudolf Jaenisch, in collaboration with Lynda Chin from Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The team demonstrated this by successfully cloning mice from an advanced melanoma cell.



"This settles a principal biological question," says Jaenisch, who also is a professor of biology at MIT. "The epigenetic elements of cancer are reversible; the genetic elements, as expected, are not."

Researchers have known for decades that cancer begins when certain key genes in an otherwise healthy cell mutate, and tumor growth depends on continuing, multiple mutations. But only recently have scientists begun to understand the "epigenetic" components of cancer-that is, how other molecules in a cell affect genes without actually altering the sequence of DNA. Many of these epigenetic components, such as methylation, can determine if a gene is silent or active.


Konrad Hochedlinger and Robert Blelloch, postdoctoral researchers in the Jaenisch lab, studied whether any of these epigenetic influences can be reversed. First, they removed the nucleus from a melanoma cell and injected it into a de-nucleated egg cell (a process known as nuclear transfer). After the egg cell developed into a blastocyst, Hochedlinger and Blelloch harvested embryonic stem cells which they then incorporated into a group of healthy mouse blastocysts. Many of these blastocysts developed into normal adult mice. The work was reported in the August issue of the journal Genes and Development.

"It’s important to note," says Blelloch, "that the stem cells from the cloned melanoma were incorporated into most, if not all, tissues of adult mice, showing that they can develop into normal, healthy cells," such as those for skin pigmentation, immunity, and connective tissue. But in spite of this, when certain cancer-related genes in these mice were activated, they developed malignant tumors at a much faster rate than the control mice.

According to Lynda Chin of Dana-Farber’s oncology department, this research opens up the door to developing cancer animal models in which researchers could ask epigenetic questions. "Although studies are ongoing, these findings have provided initial clues of the relative contributions of the epigenetic versus genetic lesions in the development of cancer," she says. "Drugs that target the cancer epigenome may prove to be a key therapeutic opportunity for diverse cancers."

David Cameron | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wi.mit.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Making fuel out of thick air
08.12.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht ‘Spying’ on the hidden geometry of complex networks through machine intelligence
08.12.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>