Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

USC researchers investigate protein that protects tumors

04.07.2006
A protein that allows breast cancer cells to evade the body's natural immune responses could be a target of future cancer therapies, according to a study by scientists from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

The study, published in the July 1 issue of the American Journal of Pathology, is the first to identify how EphB4 – a protein that sits on the surface of cells – functions.

"The important aspect of this study is that … if we turn the protein [EphB4] off, the tumor cells die, which means that its function helps the cancer cells survive," says Parkash S. Gill, MD, a professor of medicine in the Keck School and the study's senior author.

The scientists used a fluorescent dye attached to the protein's antibody to reveal the protein's location on the tumor cells.

"The first step was to identify whether it's there [on cancer cells] and how often," he explained. "We found that it was present on 60 percent of the tumors … and it's expressed from the very first stage of the cancer formation."

The next step was to determine EphB4's purpose. What the scientists discovered was that EphB4 serves as a sentry, guarding the tumor cells from any defenses the body deploys to attack them.

"There are means in the body to kill tumor cells," Gill says. "[If] you block those then you give the cells the opportunity to survive and grow." Not only did EphB4 block those defenses, but it helped the cancer cells flourish by issuing a call for more blood vessels – the biological equivalent of food for the tumor.

"The tumor cell carrying this protein … on its surface communicates with blood vessels nearby," Gill says. "It sends the signal for more blood vessels to grow. One key item for any cancer to grow is to include more blood vessels."

The goal of a future anti-cancer therapy would be to block the protein, essentially knocking out one of the tumor cell's guardians. A similar approach was used to develop Herceptin, one of the first biological treatments for breast cancer. Herceptin targets the her2 protein, which is found on the surface of tumor cells about 20 percent of the time, says Gill.

The her2 protein played a role in this study as well. That protein, along with several of its cousins, was found to activate EphB4, he said. "There are certain growth factors that can make this particular protein (EphB4) go up," Gill says. "We are learning more about how this protein is turned on and off in a cancer cell."

Kathleen O'Neil | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.usc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | 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

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>