Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists inhibit cancer gene

10.05.2005


Potential therapy for up to 30 percent of human tumors



By studying mice with skin cancer, researchers at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah discovered a way to inhibit a mutant gene found in up to 30 percent of human tumors.

Called Ras, normal copies of this gene are important in cell signaling, or communication among cells. When mutated, however, Ras is an "oncogene" or cancer-causing gene that has been shown to promote the growth of cancers in the pancreas, colon and lung, as well as thyroid cancer and leukemia.


Attempts to inhibit activated Ras have had limited success until now, but the Huntsman Cancer Institute researchers explain that they have discovered an enzyme that, when inhibited, appears to reduce the incidence of Ras-induced tumors in mice.

They reported their findings in the May 9 - 13, 2005, issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition.

Matthew K. Topham, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine and lead investigator on the study, explains that the research team had originally been testing a group of enzymes that regulate the function of the Ras gene. These enzymes, called diacylglycerol kinases (DGKs), are implicated in tumor growth.

"When we began our investigation using a type of DGK, called DGK iota, we thought that its absence would cause more tumors to develop, as has happened with other DGKs we have tested. This time, though, when we tested mice with an activated Ras gene, but an absent DGK iota gene, the number of tumors was significantly reduced," Topham says. "This result is interesting, because it happened when the Ras gene was activated. The implication is that a drug therapy could be developed to reduce tumors caused by Ras without significant side effects."

The research team also included Huntsman Cancer Institute scientists Debra Regier, Ph.D.; Jared Higbee; Katrina Lund; Fumio Sakane, Ph.D.; and Stephen M. Prescott, M.D., professor of internal medicine at the University of Utah and executive director of Huntsman Cancer Institute.

The researchers used mice that were bred to have a highly "expressed" -- meaning highly active -- mutant of the Ras oncogene. Such mice were first developed years ago. Prior studies had demonstrated that these mice were very prone to tumors. For the new study, the Hunstman Cancer Institute team deleted the DGK iota gene in these mice and found that they developed few tumors, while mice with an intact DGK iota gene and an activated Ras gene exhibited significantly more tumors.

Topham says his team will now examine more closely the mechanism behind how DGK iota works to inhibit tumor formation.

Matthew K. Topham | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hci.utah.edu

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>