A new research study identifies a molecule that promotes one of the most deadly cancers in humans and reveals the molecular mechanisms underlying the protective effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) against the disease. The research, published in the September issue of Cancer Cell, identifies potential targets for future therapeutics aimed at the prevention and treatment of cancer of the colon and rectum.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cause of death due to cancer for men and women in the United States It has been known for some time that NSAIDS and other cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors reduce the risk of CRC. However, the exact mechanisms of this protective action are unclear. PGE2 is a metabolite of COX that is elevated in CRC and has been implicated in disease development and progression. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor d (PPARd), a regulator of cell survival, has also been linked to CRC. Dr. Raymond N. DuBois from the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, Tennessee and colleagues investigated whether the ability of PGE2 to promote CRC is dependent on PPARd.
The researchers found that PGE2 indirectly activates PPARd via a signaling pathway that promotes cell survival and polyp formation. Polyps are abnormal growths in the colon and rectum that are believed to be an early stage of CRC. In a mouse model system for studying polyp formation, PGE2 treatment induced an increase in the number and size of intestinal polyps. Importantly, this effect of PGE2 was not observed in these mice when they lack PPARd.
Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden
The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy