Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


A new protein is discovered to play a key role in cancer progression


Many cancers, including colon, prostate, and leukemia, continue to grow unchecked because they do not respond to a signal to die and stop proliferating from Transforming Growth Factor-beta (TGF-b). The cause of this signaling disruption of the normal cell cycle has not been fully understood. For the first time, scientists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have discovered the biologic function of the cytoplasmic form of the Promyelocytic Leukemia protein (PML), and identified it as an essential factor in maintaining TGF-b signaling. Their findings, published in the September 9 issue of the journal Nature, explain the link between these two proteins in the development of cancer and suggest that restoring their activity may provide a possible cancer treatment.

"Through our discovery of the biologic function of PML and its essential role in maintaining TGF-b signaling, we can better understand the progression of many human cancers," said Pier Paolo Pandolfi, M.D., Ph.D., Head of the Molecular and Developmental Biology Laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the study’s senior author. "Restoring PML function may correct this signaling defect therefore providing a novel therapeutic target for cancer drugs."

TGF-b is a protein that can suppress tumor development by signaling a cell to stop growing. The unresponsiveness to TGF-b signaling has been associated with a variety of human cancers. In addition to this loss of TGF-b, loss of PML is associated with tumor progression in many human cancers, including prostate, breast, colon, and lung, as shown by Dr. Pandolfi and colleagues in a recently published study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. In a later work published in Nature Cell Biology, they also demonstrated an unexpected role for PML in affecting the nucleolar network for tumor suppression and in regulating the function of a gene crucial to the suppression of the genesis of cancer.

In this current work, the Sloan-Kettering researchers found that cytoplasmic PML (cPML) also has a key role in cancer development. It is required for the formation of a signaling complex that is an essential factor in activating TGF-b signaling necessary to suppress the growth of cancer cells. When cPML is lost, TGF-b signaling is disrupted. Primary cells from Pml-null mice are resistant to TGF-b dependent growth arrest, induction of aging (cellular senescence), and cell death (apoptosis). However, when PML function is added back to these cells, this defect is corrected and TGF-induced activity restores normal cell functions.

"The study found an unexpected role of cPML which highlights the importance of analyzing the status of PML in human cancers," said Hui-Kuan Lin, Ph.D., of the Molecular and Developmental Biology Laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the study’s first author.

Joanne Nicholas | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular doorstop could be key to new tuberculosis drugs
20.03.2018 | Rockefeller University

nachricht Modified biomaterials self-assemble on temperature cues
20.03.2018 | Duke University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Physicists made crystal lattice from polaritons

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Thawing permafrost produces more methane than expected

20.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>