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 How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>