Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New model of cancer syndrome could lead to treatments

05.01.2005


Scientists from MIT’s Center for Cancer Research have developed a new mouse model that closely resembles Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS) in humans, a syndrome that predisposes those affected to a broad range of cancers. Some 95 percent of LFS patients develop cancer by age 65.



This work, which was reported in the Dec. 17 issue of Cell, could lead to a treatment for LFS and aid in the development of treatments for other cancers.

The research shows that a single point mutation in the tumor suppressor gene p53 yields a mouse that develops a broad tumor spectrum reminiscent of LFS. Although LFS is a rare genetic disease, affecting fewer than 400 families worldwide, the p53 gene is very commonly mutated in tumors unrelated to LFS. Mutations in p53 are detected in more than 50 percent of all human tumors, such as colon, breast, skin, bladder and many cancers of the digestive tract. Consequently, the development of a therapy for LFS specifically targeted at p53 has the potential to be applied to a wide range of cancers.


"The LFS mouse strains, which have been many years in the making, will be extremely valuable in understanding how the common mutations in p53 contribute to tumor formation," said Tyler Jacks, David H. Koch professor of biology, director of the Center for Cancer Research and leader of the MIT team. "We expect these strains will also help us determine how to specifically treat p53 mutant tumors," explained Jacks, who is also an Investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Understanding the genetic basis of disease is the key to developing effective therapies in the fight against cancer, and mouse models of human cancer have played an integral role in research. However, previous attempts to create accurate mouse models of LFS by completely inactivating p53 were unsuccessful because the mice did not develop the wide range of tumors seen in human LFS patients.

In this study, two different mutations in p53 that are commonly found in human tumors were tested in the mouse. These mutations do not lead to deletion of p53, but have more subtle effects. The authors found that mice that possessed either of the two mutations in p53 developed more tumors and more different types of tumors than do mice completely lacking p53.

"By knocking out p53, the mice did not develop as many types of tumors as is typically seen with LFS," said Kenneth Olive, lead author of the paper and a graduate student in biology. "Therefore, it is important that we understand what it is about these subtle mutations that is different from simply inactivating the whole gene. More generally, if we are to truly understand human cancer, it is important that we study not just any mutation, but the right mutation."

Other MIT authors of the paper are David Tuveson, now an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, biology undergraduates Zachary Ruhe and Bob Yin, and former research technician Nicholas Willis and research affiliate Denise Crowley of the Center for Cancer Research. Roderick Bronson of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine also contributed to this work.

The work is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Cancer Institute Mouse Models of Human Cancer Consortium. Support also comes from a Koch Graduate Fellowship and a National Institutes of Health Training Grant.

Elizabeth Thomson | MIT News Office
Further information:
http://www.mit.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>