Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers discover new form of cancer gene regulation

09.11.2005


The Quaking gene, first described as a mutation in mice that causes rapid tremor, is thought to suppress tumor formation and protect humans from cancer.



Now, a team of researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin has shown that the Quaking gene likely suppresses tumor growth by inhibiting production of a protein associated with GLI1, a cancer-causing oncogene highly associated with severe birth defects and several childhood cancers.

The group’s study, published in the Nov. 1 online issue of Developmental Biology, details the discovery of an important and completely novel form of regulation of the GLI1 gene.


"Results of the study open a new research direction for issues ranging from cancer formation to environmental interactions in development and will point the way to similar mechanisms of control in other genes," said Philip M. Iannaccone, M.D., who led the study.

Iannaccone is George M. Eisenberg Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and deputy director for basic research at Children’s Memorial Research Center.

Development occurs as a coordinated series of genetic control events that create proliferation of cells, signals for further differentiation, proteins that define cellular function and "programmed" movement of cells into developing structures.

These processes, known as pattern formation, are controlled largely by networks of genes and proteins called signal transduction pathways that receive signals from outside of the cell in the form of protein interaction with the cell surface. Through a series of intracellular events, these signals trigger gene activation or repression through action of transcription factors in the nucleus of the cell.

The altered gene expression profile then results in cellular differentiation, cellular proliferation or cellular death as pattern formation proceeds.

An important signal transduction pathway critical to early development of humans and animals involves the genes Sonic hedgehog (the signal) and GLI (the transcription factor).

The GLI family of three genes was first discovered in a human brain tumor, and mutations in this family of genes result in severe birth defects and devastating cancers in humans.

"While some cancers are explained by known defects in the regulation of the GLI1 gene, for many cancers the reasons for excessive GLI1 protein are not known. The protein levels and activity of GLI1 are likely regulated at levels other than the gene," Iannaccone said.

The form of regulation the researchers discovered occurs after the gene makes messenger RNA, the first step toward making a protein that controls cell fate. Once the messenger RNA leaves the cell, it participates in a process called translation, during which the cellular machinery makes a protein by linking amino acids together according to the plan described in the messenger RNA and thereby based on the information from the DNA sequence of the gene.

Iannaccone and colleagues showed that after the messenger RNA for GLI1 is made, it binds to the Quaking protein and inhibits the translation event. This means that all of the controls that the cell has on the gene for GLI1 can be present and active and the GLI1 is still not produced.

Significantly, the study demonstrated that this regulation is conserved from human to the worm, Caenorhabditis elegans (often used in laboratory research), indicating that the formation of these RNA protein complexes is a very ancient form of regulation of protein function.

Olga Lakiza, postdoctoral fellow in pediatrics at the Feinberg School, was the first author on the article. Iannaccone’s other co-researchers on this study included David O. Walterhouse, associate professor of pediatrics, Feinberg School and Children’s Memorial Research Center, and Elizabeth B. Goodwin, department of genetics, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Elizabeth Crown | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.northwestern.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Embryonic development: How do limbs develop from cells?
18.05.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

nachricht Reading histone modifications, an oncoprotein is modified in return
18.05.2018 | American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>