Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UCF researcher uncovers protein that could stop replication of cancer cells

20.04.2005


A University of Central Florida researcher has uncovered an ancient protein that could be critical to stopping the uncontrolled division of tumor cells that cause cancer.

A University of Central Florida researcher has uncovered an ancient protein that could be critical to stopping the uncontrolled division of tumor cells that cause cancer. Molecular Biology and Microbiology professor Mark Muller has found that the protein, called MKRN1, promotes the destruction of an enzyme called telomerase that enables rapid duplication of cells. While researchers have known for years that healthy cells repress telomerase, they haven’t understood why.

The work by Muller and In Kwong Chung and colleagues at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, was published this month in Genes & Development.



The discovery is a big step that should generate excitement in the cancer research community, said Lee Johnson, chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics at the Ohio State University and an authority in gene expression in mammalian cells.

"To the best of my knowledge, this is the first example of how the enzyme (telomerase) itself can be turned off," Johnson said.

The work focuses on the role that a long stretch of repeated DNA known as a telomere has in influencing cell length and, in turn, its lifespan. Each of the human’s 46 chromosomes is capped on either end by telomeres, which help protect the cells. Each time a cell divides, the telomeres are shortened until eventually they become so small that the cell stops multiplying. Eventually the cell is eliminated from the body.

When telomere ends do not shorten, division continues unabated. The body contains other mechanisms that kick in to stop the errant reproduction unless the telomerase enzyme is present. In laboratory tests, the MKRN1 protein has eliminated the presence of telomerase in tumor cells, said Muller, who conducted genetic research at The Ohio Sate University for 25 years before joining UCF last summer.

Muller said that the MKRN1 gene is incredibly ancient and has likely been part of a human genetic makeup since the beginning of time.

"Many different species have these genes, which emphasizes important collective roles in life" Muller said. "Moreover, mutating or altering the MKRN1 gene is lethal, thus, cells cannot live without these genes, further supporting a key role in growth control and cancer."

The researchers also found that the effectiveness of MKRN1 is greatly increased by combining it with the drug geldanamycin, which has been shown in clinical trials to disrupt the formation of cancerous tumors by binding with protective proteins.

Tom Evelyn | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucf.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>