Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Expanding Complexity of p53

15.09.2005


Researchers at the University of Dundee have discovered new levels of complexity in the regulation of the tumour suppressor gene p53, findings which could have a significant impact on the identification of patients at risk of developing aggressive cancer and in determining more efficient drug treatments.



The research has been led by Professor Sir David Lane and Dr Jean-Christophe Bourdon of the Cancer Research UK Cell Transformation Group at the University of Dundee. Prof Lane famously discovered the p53 protein, and continues to lead cutting edge research in this field.

The new findings, which are to be published on the 15 September in the journal, "Genes and Development", show that the p53 gene, the most frequently inactivated gene in human cancer, does not produce only one unique p53 protein as previously thought, but at least six different p53 proteins (isoforms). They also established that expression of p53 isoforms is abnormal in breast tumours.


"The discovery of p53 isoforms is a major breakthrough in the understanding of cancer formation," said Dr Bourdon.

"The determination of p53 isoform expression in human cancers will help to identify patients at risk of developing aggressive cancer and to define their drug sensitivity in order to treat the patient with the most efficient drugs."

"The deregulation of p53 isoform expression in tumours provides an explanation on how tumours can develop while they express a non-mutated p53 gene. As p53 isoforms are abnormally expressed in tumour cells, p53 is not fully active and does not destroy every cell which leads to cancer formation."

The different isoforms of p53 contain sections of the normal p53 protein, each put together in a slightly different way. All six isoforms can be found in normal human cells, though their levels vary in different tissues. Some of these isoforms can interact with full-length p53 to affect its tumour suppressing activity, suggesting that interactions between the different protein isoforms may be key in regulating p53’s normal role.

p53 activity is lost in over half of human tumours, which emphasises the importance of the p53 protein in preventing tumour formation. However, one of the puzzles facing workers in the p53 field is the role of p53 in tumours where it remains apparently normal.

Dr Bourdon and Prof Lane have examined the levels of these newly discovered p53 isoforms in breast tumours and find that some isoforms are present at abnormal levels in tumours which have otherwise normal p53.

This suggests that, in these tumours, p53 activity is being lost by altered isoform expression, rather than by mutation of the p53 gene itself. This important new finding tells us that alterations in levels of specific isoforms may play an essential role in tumour formation by regulating p53 activity. This new model will help to explain how p53 function in individual tumours is linked to the sensitivity of that tumour to drug treatment and give us new tools in the treatment of breast and other cancers.

Roddy Isles | alfa
Further information:
http://www.dundee.ac.uk/pressreleases/prsept05/p53.html
http://www.dundee.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Warming ponds could accelerate climate change
21.02.2017 | University of Exeter

nachricht An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever
21.02.2017 | University of Utah

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>