A team of University of Minnesota researchers has discovered how a gene that suppresses the development of melanoma and other human cancers works. The study points the way to treatments based on the function of the gene. The researchers, led by Zigang Dong, director of the universitys Hormel Institute in Austin, Minn., have applied for a patent on one such treatment. The work will be published online July 10 in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.
A critical event in the development of melanoma and other human cancers is the inactivation of a gene known as "p16." Normally, p16 keeps cells from growing rapidly, a condition that sometimes leads to tumor formation. Working with mouse epidermis and cultured human melanoma and nonmelanoma cancer cells, the team found that p16 inactivates key enzymes -- called JNK 1 and JNK 2 -- in the process. The enzymes are normally activated by exposure to ultraviolet light. By shutting down the enzymes, p16 keeps them from activating a huge complex of proteins, which, when active, attaches to chromosomes and turns on many genes that promote cell growth.
The p16 gene works by producing a protein that attaches to the enzymes, preventing them from performing their function. When the researchers added the p16 protein to colonies of cancer cells in culture, it diminished the size of many colonies, wiping out some of them. It also decreased the total number of cancer cells.
Zigang Dong | EurekAlert!
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Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
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