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

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>